A beautiful dark: That's where Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs began for Spring. A couple of days before the show, the pair had all kinds of ideas about traditional femininity turned slightly menacing. A very romantic floral print—the most romantic this hard-edged label has ever gone—featured headless torsos floating about. The white gingham the designers used throughout looked as if it had been sprayed with acid. Schoolgirl pleats went wayward in black leather, then they were tacked onto dresses as panels.

Still, the overall look was heavy on the restraint and clean shapes. Even the shoes adorned with long, sharp spikes could be described as minimal, with their neutral leather and sparse two-spike limit. Spring has barely sprung on the runways, but you can already sense the Philo effect rippling through New York. Especially in something like a sharp caramel leather shorts suit worn with a white buttoned-up blouse. The flip side of that was a gold and pearl embellishment fit for a pasha, which was best in the small dose of board shorts paired with a breezy white linen top. And in between, an abstractly embroidered triple-layer chiffon and white-on-white teacup embroidery helped to hold your interest. The show ended with a series of dresses—the item that began as their mainstay in a very body-con iteration. Now the approach is more body-aware, with soft drapes and a gentler line. Even if it lacked that "aha" moment you hope to see with designers who are experimenting and getting their legs, this was a solid collection. In fact, if you listened closely, you could hear the retailers sharpening their pencils.