Arne Quinze, a Belgian artist known for his raw wood sculpture, provided the graphic motif for Neil Barrett's awl-sharp lineup. In its simplest manifestation, it appeared as stripes of black on a white T-shirt worn underneath a pantsuit. But it also turned up as bands of sheer and opaque stretch fabric on a sleeveless bodysuit, and again as lizard-stamped stretch leather spliced into second-skin camel pants.

A longtime menswear designer, Barrett used to be the guy to go to for a boyish suit and washed leather motorcycle jackets. He still had those in spades today, but after upping the sexy quotient last season and seeing it pay dividends—he landed great new accounts, like Joseph and L'Eclaireur—he's gone even further in the body-conscious direction. What was interesting to see was how the designer incorporated some of his tailoring tricks into his dresses. Shoulder pads do the same waist-slimming wonders on a sleeveless sheath as they do on a blazer. Even cooler, Barrett made them into a design element by covering them with contrasting fabric: black leather, say, on a camel cady stretch dress. It's no wonder his women's business is growing.