It has been an exciting few weeks for this 36-year-old designer. Hot on the heels of his appointment as creative director of Bill Blass came the announcement last week that a big retail developer, NRDC Equity Partners, had bought a majority stake in his company. Change was also in the air at his Spring show, which showed him moving, promisingly, in a more streamlined, less obviously pretty direction.

Som was trained as an architect, and his creative wheels were set spinning during a recent trip to Spain, where he visited the Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Frank Gehry's swirling titanium expansion of an ancient sandstone winery in Rioja. Marqués de Riscal was an apt metaphor for today's outing, which sought to put a twist on the traditional.

Som renovated classic American sportswear pieces, updating them with his toolbox of light fabrics (tweed prints, seersuckers, silk-screened dévoré Chantilly lace) and some cleverly mixed and matched textures. "Curvilinear" was one of his catchwords, and while trousers and skirts were cut full and fluid, other pieces hugged the body, like a metallic sequined sheath. "The clothes are cleaner than last season," Som told Style.com. "And there's not a single bow. I'm shocked, myself!"