With its optimistic colors and bright prints, Spring 2011 might end up being a very alienating season to fashion's goth wing, for whom black is practically a religion. That's where Nicolas Andreas Taralis could come in. Back on the runway for the second time running after a three-year absence, the designer paid current trends little heed. "I like dark things," he said, explaining that he was thinking about tribes—Old European and Far Eastern ones, as well as international youth cultures. With their leather mesh tanks, hole-y denim, distressed suiting, and chemically treated camouflage pieces, all perched on substantial wedge-heel boots, the models looked like the definition of urban warriors. In fact, the show's opening mini was inspired by the traditional Greek military skirt, its 400 pleats evoking each year of Turkish occupation, but whipped up in frothy silk tulle for some modern romance.

Speaking of, Taralis romanced the clothes every which way, washing a leather vest for a wrinkled, this-new-old-thing effect, or soaking narrow, elongated blazers in salt water to create ghostly white stains at the hems. The silhouette was attenuated up top, with jackets subtly cut away in the rear and vests that were nearly backless. The bottom half was slightly fuller, the precision of the designer's tailored blazers giving way to silk drop-crotch pants. Taralis may be in lone territory so far this season, but he negotiated it well.