Maurizio Pecoraro's never been one to hold back his artier inclinations. Jackson Pollock, this time, was the source of the very literal abstract-expressionist purple-and-blue splatter print that appeared on an off-white pantsuit and was translated into 3-D embroidery on another jacket. There were shades of Rothko, too: In the finale, models wearing hand-painted silk dresses lined up in a tableau against large colored panels, forming a striking visual composition—undermined, somewhat, by the fact that Vera Wang plumbed Rothko's rich archive some seasons ago, and to more subtle effect.

That was the trouble with this collection. Pecoraro's artsy indulgences—for instance, Native American feather jewelry and a fringed suede poncho worn with, of all things, cuffed turquoise cotton trousers—got the better of him. If there's a link between modern art and American Indian costume, it's not an obvious one. There were some real, wearable clothes out there, like the pretty party dresses in this season's jewel tones, but the aesthetic disconnect proved distracting.