"Fall was about money and employment; Spring is about relaxation after all the stress," said Stephen Burrows prior to his intimate showing. Burrows certainly seemed at ease in his talent, working with lightweight fabrics and fine mesh inserts (as on a fit-and-flare dress in inky black that exposed peeks of a red underskirt). The idea, the designer said, was to create the sense of beachy calm that being near the ocean instills.

In this context, Burrows' famous lettuce-edge technique (which showed up at Marc Jacobs, too, this Spring) took on the aspect of seaweed, sequins became the glint of sun on surf, and a jagged-hem minidress looked like it had been mangled in the jaws of a ferocious shark (albeit one with a superior sense of silhouette). If it was difficult to connect the dots between the color-blocked pieces that opened the show and the sequined ones that closed it, the collection's standouts were easy to spot. A crisp white ensemble with a twisted-lapel top was as sharp as a sail, and a black and seafoam jersey combo—worn by house "mascot" Anna Cleveland—swelled and draped with the liquid motion of the tide.