Monique Lhuillier opted for the second time to do a low-key presentation instead of a full-blown show. It was a slightly muddled affair.

After last season's dreamy ballerinas, Lhuillier was on to bolder ideas: sharply defined structure and the rich embellishment of those perennial fashion icons, the Masai of East Africa. She worked her ideas down two different paths, with full, almost New Look-esque skirts for cocktail hour on the one hand, and on the other—for high evening—breezily draped jersey gowns with rope belts, some dripping fringe. There wasn't a ball gown in the bunch—a Lhuillier first. (Cue Rachel Zoe and co. tearing out their hair.)

There was obviously supposed to be an organized evolution of ideas here that would flow smoothly from a sunshine-hued, fringed cocktail frock with an intricate macramé halter neck through sparkly tailored tweeds to an easy elegant evening. But without the benefit of a runway show, the concept got caught in a bit of a bottleneck.

Confusion aside, piece by piece there was actually much to love. A smart celeb stylist prepping for Emmy night has probably already sunk her claws into an ultrachic tiered black gown with a gold bullion neckline, or a bright yellow column with a draped bodice and high slit that was genius in its simplicity.