The name Damir Doma will be familiar to those who pay attention to the menswear beat, where he's been gaining increasing accolades over the past four years. Doma made his womenswear debut here last season with a collection that transposed his signature dark and layered tailoring (he's Croatian-born but Belgian-trained) onto the female form. But the designer was thinking differently for his sophomore outing, which he described in his show notes as the Damir Doma woman "emerging as her own being."

True to his word, this outing took a far softer approach. It was also sexy at times, with cropped racerback tanks exposing lots of skin, and silk dresses in long, lean silhouettes that had the subtle oomph of sheer fabrics and gently knotted waists. But the look was chic, not vulgar or, worse, unwearable. Though the show notes mentioned a woman free from "the rib of man," there was still evidence of that original bone of an idea here. But Doma worked to lighten up jackets—both wool and leather—with chiffon lapels that had a lovely flutter as models walked, and elsewhere he layered long blazers with barely there sheer skirts and pants.

There was a serene quality to the proceedings, but it was actually an attempt at spirituality that tripped up this solid step forward—an onslaught of marigolds and saffron yellows, colors that require delicate handling and much smaller doses.