Cynthia Rowley has had it with the frenetic pace of fashion. "I love that we show collections so often," she said, "but the addition of new seasons makes it harder to define each one." And so, doing away with seasons altogether, she dubbed her show "Collection One for 2009" and—"because it's just a countdown until the next show"—hung a giant ticking clock as the set's backdrop.

Today's event—OK, then, we won't call it "Spring"—was sleek and chic. Almost every piece was a futuristic take on the sheath, in heavy nylon with beaded "armor" appliqué, coated to add patina, or embroidered with mesh overlay. The glossiness carried over into the accessories: There were round, ring-handled Judy Jetson totes stitched from a high-tech material used to make life jackets, and oversize, slightly kooky gold-ball belts and bracelets.

This all felt quite new, coming as it did from a designer whose look is typically girlish and unstructured. There were a few misfires (one dress, described as having a "gravity-defying back," just looked like a bad fit), but for the most part the modern lines and details worked very well. Here's hoping Rowley gets a chance to kick back and enjoy her success before she has to head back into the studio again for Collection Two.