In her program notes, Laura Poretzky invoked the fashion mash-up of "Miami Deco meets Gene Tierney." It's a retro pairing that could very quickly turn campy, but it soon became clear that the many hours Poretzky has logged on chic beaches have not been in vain.

She merged the two elements into a fresh, uncluttered collection that could coherently take a girl from tropical boardwalk to city sidewalk. (And in the case of a couple of Deauville looks, onward to the Norman Riviera.) Color-block dresses in the sun-drenched hues of South Beach came in a candy-box assortment: There were flowing bohemian maxis, smartly tailored shifts, a sexy draped strapless number, and a fifties party frock.

High-waisted pinup bikinis didn't appear entirely seaworthy, but they were clean-lined enough not to fall into the dusty vintage trap. Other ideas—both good (a palm-print shirtdress) and bad (a perforated-leather sheath)—were scattered here and there, breaking up the slight monotony that was the only real fault of a collection with great commercial potential.