Vera Wang was in the news all summer long, having created the wedding gowns for some very high-profile brides, Chelsea Clinton among them. So, did all that romance rub off on her? Yes and no. The designer's Spring collection walked both sides of the feminine/masculine divide. On the sweeter side: draped, body-loving sheaths in beautiful lush florals, and hand-ruched tulle dresses in shades of poppy, citrine, and blush pink suspended from corseted underpinnings. Anybody who's followed Wang's career knows that the one big color in her life other than bridal white is black; those bright hues were a departure for her.

The collection's more boyish martial arts-inflected pieces, apparently inspired by the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill, were also a surprise, albeit with entirely different results. The asymmetrical quilted vests worn over pinstripe jumpsuits had an appealing roguish quality, as did an ivory organdy kimono blouse tucked into what were essentially glorified gym shorts. Wang's twist-front, droopy derriere pants, many of them belted with black "sumo" rope, were about as far away from Chelsea's silk tulle and laser-cut organza as a girl could get. If Wang wanted to inject a more youthful edge and toughen up her image, she succeeded.