Milla Jovovich and Carmen Hawk bustled to and fro in the Hotel Chelsea, cracking jokes and pulling pieces from the racks to draw attention to some hand-sewn detail. They showed their collection by private appointment only, taking visitors over the course of two days—a sensible decision in this overbooked fashion week. And the Chelsea, which is clinging onto its shabby glamour even as developers circle, was a good setting for their Spring theme: lingerie.

Innerwear as outerwear is hardly breaking news, but this was something a bit different, an amusing review of boudoir dressing through the ages. A white silk Empire column evoked Empress Josephine's dressing gown; a beaded and embroidered capelet represented Victoriana; a powder blue tap-pants-and-bed-jacket set was very forties-Hollywood starlet; and printed chiffon teddies came straight out of the Cold War closet.

"We've taken the bedroom into the streets, but tried not to be too literal about it," Jovovich said. Actually, they were pretty literal about it. That's the thing about Jovovich-Hawk: The clothes are often authentic enough to be virtual reproductions. If you want to bring these pieces up to date, you have to style them into modernity…by pairing them, for instance, with this season's jeans, shorts, and minidresses, which were scattered throughout the suite.