Backstage, Zac Posen was clear about why he decided to give his lower-priced line its runway debut. "This is fashion-tainment!" he said. "I wanted to create that dialogue with the bloggers and the fans." And a few other people. This jam-packed spectacle included Brett Ratner, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Ciara, and Claire Danes. Beyond reaching budding Bryan Boys, Posen is hoping to ratchet up the retail presence of Z Spoke, ending an exclusive with Saks Fifth Avenue.

For Spring, Z Spoke has a decidedly young, cartoon-y, and slightly madcap sensibility, partly via illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve's kooky-chic prints of smiling fruit, and a Celia Birtwell-esque motif of multiculti faces. Posen had three muses for the season: a sportswear-clad brunette, a blonde who adores ruffles and probably cats, and a glamour-puss redhead. For the first, lean cotton suits and smart denim skirts paired with printed blouses had an immediate appeal. Yet surely the shopper seeking out Posen Lite is in the market for a dress. Perhaps Posen's fair-haired lass has an endless appetite for frou, but the best dresses had characteristic flounce yet were free of rickrack and swingy fringe. The show ended with a black jersey gown with cutouts—Jessica Rabbit on the high street. After all, Posen wouldn't let a little thing like price point get in the way of his—and his potential slew of new customers'—red-carpet dreams.