With Champagne and sugar-dusted fruit greeting guests, it appeared the 6267 duo had taken to heart last season's advice to elevate their production values. The clothes proved equally satisfying. Maybe they'd stacked the standing-room section with friends and fans, or perhaps everyone was just happy to be approaching the end of an at-times-grueling 12-hour day, but Roberto Rimondi and Tommaso Aquilano received more sustained applause for more looks than any designer thus far this season.

Uniting two disparate themes—fifties couture and Japanese samurai, according to the program notes—was a polish that belied the label's still-newcomer status. The fluid silk pants (worn with flowy blouses and swingy vests), floral chine sheaths, and raffia-embroidered miniskirts no doubt set hearts aflutter among the retailers in the audience. These are timely silhouettes that everyone understands, but they were done in a luxurious manner and, even better, were not easily identifiable by brand.

The show's standout piece suggests, however, that Rimondi and Aquilano have an untapped avant-garde streak: Coming, the dress looked like a sculptural, full-blown trapeze; going, it revealed itself to be a body-skimming, provocative sheath. This two-dresses-in-one trick, in more subtle form, became a recurring motif—as in, for example, a narrow frock that was solid navy in front and a painterly floral in back. Extra points for difficulty, boys. Well done.