Lyn Devon took a well-worn reference—Roman Holiday-era Audrey Hepburn—for her Americans Abroad collection, but she worked it with a light, fresh touch. Consciously or not, the mood read Geoffrey Beene. The American master's legacy of optimistic "optic play" could be traced in the pairing of a bias-skirted dress with a striped drawstring-waisted topper, and there was something balletic about the tea-length dresses. "There's romance in this collection that hasn't been there before," Devon explained.

This designer's hardly interested in frilly femininity, though (a digital rose print on acid green had bite), and while she succeeded in softening things up for Spring, she did so without abandoning her trademark sporty elements or the tomboyish tailoring she introduced last Fall. In fact, Devon's toppers almost stole the show. How to choose between an organdy windowpane balmacaan, a smart waterproof poncho, or a classic rain slicker reworked in papery yellow leather? Take one of each. The economy will thank you.