The weather gods smiled on Catherine Malandrino: It rained before and after her presentation at the Grand Promenade outside Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. Her models shivered on their platforms, but at least they were dry. And what was her plan if it actually had been wet? "Umbrellas," she said. "Rain is a part of life." That was Malandrino's practical side talking, but she's also got a well-developed sense of whimsy.

Inspired by a rare piece of pottery by the French ceramist Roger Capron that she picked up over the summer in the South of France, Malandrino's Spring collection was an exercise in handcrafts. Leather macramé decorated the necklines of T-shirts and dresses, was patchworked onto a bomber vest, and snaked above the knees of gladiator sandals. Beads were stitched onto silk tops in medallions or embroidered all over fitted bolero jackets. And slinky, draped jumpsuits were made from colorful watercolor prints. Most of the looks were accessorized with talismanic necklaces strung from leather and hunks of quartz.

Minimalism may be the big story at the moment, but not chez Malandrino. Some of the looks erred on the fussy side of crafty, but others had a homespun, even DIY charm that will appeal to her fellow romantics.