The large, tilted white disc of an Eric Javits hat that opened Douglas Hannant's garden party of a show wouldn't have looked out of place on Lisa Fonssagrives in a postwar fashion photograph by Irving Penn; the clothes that followed had a hint of the refinement of classic black-and-white Penn images, too.

Refinement for Hannant is a relative term, however, and the society-darling designer delivered froths of lace, tulle, and shimmer aplenty. Tanks and dresses with tulle racerbacks had a youthful nonchalance to them, and the gauze capelet that closed the show—worn with the opening to the rear—gave new meaning to the term "sexyback."

"I really took a gamble on this," Hannant said of his decision to show au-dehors, during a rainy week, on a sliver of rooftop at the Roosevelt Hotel. "But it was key to see the clothes in the sunlight." While a few well-lacquered guests looked at risk of melting, the gamble mostly paid off.