Roksanda Ilincic is a strikingly tall, slender Serbian with a propensity, as a designer, for exaggerating things. In the past, if she'd done a pompom or a taffeta bow, it turned ginormous, and her flounces and explosions of tulle could go on into the next week. "I can't help myself once I start playing," she said. "And this time, I've tried to make the dresses look a bit like fashion sketches from the thirties to the seventies from a book I got for my birthday." Thus, when her lovely long slivers of YSL-ish charmeuse occasionally encountered a jacket, the outcome was a supersize inflation in the shoulder department. There were two kimono-type affairs and a "smoking" bolero that was twice as wide as it was long.

As jokey as this sounds, the collection was imbued with Ilincic's innate elegance; the models somehow even managed to look like the designer at a party. This season, there was less of the raw edge and more sophistication, as in a long-sleeved ivory wrap with the shoulder line picked out in black and tied with a crystal belt, or the strapless gray-and-oyster column with a single puff for a sleeve. Ilincic's flourishes of 3-D decoration are always the delight, though. For Spring, they were made of balls of shredded organza, sewn to a bra strap or on the front of an evening vest—an effect that looked like an artist's pencil scribble of fur. Which is, of course, where the whole thing started.