"I'm an evening kind of guy," Dennis Basso declared backstage before his show Tuesday afternoon. "Cocktail is really my niche."

Indeed it is. A furrier whose fine eye for detailing has won him a loyal uptown following—the front row read like a page from the Social Register—Basso focused on what he does best, namely, occasion gowns and the furs you wear with them. Wisely, he is interested in dressing mothers and daughters, so there were both stand-alone statement dresses for the former (like a python-bustier chiffon gown with a full, liquid-bronze chiffon skirt) as well as unadorned silk jersey slipdresses and tanks to be dressed up or down (say, with a mink-and-organza cover-up) by the latter. A romantic hint of the Degas corps de ballet could be seen in the bubble skirts and molded tops that dominated the silhouettes; in fact, the first look, a short chiffon dress that was practically a tutu, was pure fantasy (what young girl doesn't dream of dancing the Sugar Plum Fairy?). Styling these dresses with Alexis Bittar knuckle-dusters and fishnet thigh-highs that could be seen peeking out from under the shorter hems, Basso is clearly making a play this season for the younger half of his charity-circuit demographic.