Blame it on the bossa nova.

OK, forgive the cliché, but business is swinging cool for this Brazilian designer. Backstage, Miele energetically rattled off all the news: The first store for his second line, Miele, will open in Miami this December; there are plans for 20 more in the next year, including one on swank Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris; and the international ad campaign for his signature line will be shot by Vanity Fair's fashion director, Michael Roberts.

Out on the runway it was a more serene scene. After last season's whirlwind runway tour of three cities (a slightly strange trip), Miele had found himself listening to Sinatra, from back in the days when Old Blue Eyes brought Brazilian jazz to world attention and introduced us to the Girl From You Know Where. And so Miele returned to his roots, to the warm colors and chill culture of his beloved country.

This time, Miele restrained himself a bit. It was a case of the same ingredients, but an improved recipe. Balance was the name of the game. Dresses that made ample use of the handworked pleating that Miele has long favored, produced in São Paolo's favelas, were unembellished. Grand gowns were quieted by a pale, pearly hue. And when he did use bright color, he held back on beading. Naturally, this being Miele, there were a few moments of overexuberance.… But, well, you know where to lay the blame for that.