It's still early, but we're willing to bet that "classic American sportswear" will be a phrase you'll be hearing almost as often as "How do I get to Lincoln Center?" during this New York fashion week. Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock used it backstage before their show, professing a newfound interest in "practical, matter-of-fact, not too over-styled clothes." That puts their collection of linen shorts suits, ankle-skimming shirtdresses, and "stay-press" flaring trousers squarely at the center of things. These designers have always preferred elegance to edge, but this season, the results looked more effortless, without the superfluous extras that have proven a bit too distracting in the past.

Buhai and Mayock know their way around a halter dress. Taking cues from the eighties Memphis design movement, their new ones skim the body in color-blocked shades of khaki, black, and red, or cool tones of blue. But the one that really grabbed your attention came in solid poppy, with an asymmetric shorter-in-front, longer-in-back hem. It looks like minimalism suits Vena Cava.