The first look out, a crystal-encrusted sweater and hot-pant set, suggested we were in for a vampy romp in the style of Dean and Dan Caten's last show—none too subtle and without much in common with what the brothers sell so successfully in stores. This time, though, the opening was not a sign of things to come. While the temptation to turn up the sizzle on the runway must be hard for these showmen to resist, resist it they did. Instead, they struck a balance, serving up preppy tailoring with a winking sex appeal rather than a full-on assault.

The flat oxfords were a big surprise, especially after Fall's "spinal cord" heels, but they worked with the show's pantsuits as well as winning basics like boxy khakis and plaid bermuda shorts (teamed with a denim and a white cotton poplin button-down, respectively). The straw hats and oversize glasses, in contrast, were silly; the collection's boyish vibe would've come across without them.

Upping the ante for after dark—and no one would begrudge them that—the designers sent out a daringly bare white waistcoat worn with black satin short shorts and a backless minidress, alongside more covered-up pieces like a tuxedo shirtdress, a Le Smoking, and a trompe l'oeil evening coat-cum-cape. Even a tomboy likes to let her hair down once in a while.