Busy bee and social butterfly Isaac Mizrahi presented a buzz-worthy show at Hammerstein Ballroom today. This was achieved despite the frankly bizarre lighting scheme, which was meant to refer artily to emergence (as an insect from a cocoon or chrysalis, apparently) but that made the audience look jaundiced and the clothes colorless for two-thirds of the runway.

The clothes, however—once we got a clear look at them—were extravagant and beautiful. A lacy crochet dress was as fine as Queen Anne's lace; a pair of sequined dresses, amusingly named "Glamourpillar" and "Glitterpillar," were Hollywood knockouts; a Cicada strapless number fit the body like soft armor. There were a few nods to Cristobal Balenciaga throughout, as well as to Mizrahi's own legacy. (Back again, for example, were deconstructed bustiers similar to the Mizrahi design that made it onto a 1998 Vogue cover, but more transparent this time, and worn with a pencil skirt or under a delicately shredded chiffon Moth jacket.) Though borrowed from the past, these looked topical rather than retro. Sure, there were some gadfly looks in the mix—exposed shoulder pads, neon biker shorts, a few odd pant silhouettes—but they were minor, gnatlike irritants. Overall, Mizrahi captured his audience in an enchanting, gossamer web.