Converse high-tops on the runway at Anne Valérie Hash? It was a departure, for sure, but the designer had a simple explanation. "I felt like the clothes had become too 'madame,' and I wanted them more cool," she said. Organza-wrapped basketball sneakers and all, the collection did have a younger feel. Hash opened with tailoring, but the shorter-in-back, longer-in-front jackets; tuxedo bib shirts; and low-slung, flowing pants looked light-years away from the structured, bourgeois suits that she was showing a couple of years ago. Take, for example, the second exit, a jacket made from cotton bonded to high-tech aluminum fabric with a "memory"—scrunch up the collar and it stays scrunched.

It's a fine line between slouchy and sloppy, and Hash crossed it a few times. Loose-fitting, sheer-bodice jumpsuits with cropped full legs? Count us out. But long cotton jersey dresses with subtle ruffles cascading down the front or tracing the sleeves were effortless in exactly the right way. And we can think of plenty of cool girls who would jump at the chance to wear her T-shirt and mini (made from two layers of nearly weightless metallic-shot organza, black on top of copper), to say nothing of those high-tops.