Not terribly long ago, pundits were pitting Wall Street against Main Street, New York big shots versus backcountry moms and pops, in the fight for the American soul. Billy Reid's new stylist, Kathryn Neale Shaffer, had her own variation on the theme. "I want it to feel authentic on both roads," she said at Reid's presentation today, "the dirt road and Madison Avenue."

In a way, she was getting at the divide that's dogged Reid since the launch of his label: the slightly rural Southern twang in which his clothes tend to speak, and the rarefied New York market in which he shows them. Tonight he bridged the gap, presenting what might be his most universal collection yet.

Reid's signatures were very much intact: a whiff of the seventies in his solidly cut suits with their wide lapels; the soft, textured fabrics; and the washed-out, dusty-road color scheme. But his womenswear, of which he showed a greater range than ever before, was more feminine, more considered. There was still a hint of boyishness about several looks, like the almost boxer-style tap shorts paired with long button-downs and snug little blazers—though there were frilly halter dresses and a Reid take on a palazzo pant, too. A few quilted pieces patchworked from vintage fabrics were among the collection's finest. Old meets new, city meets country, Main Street meets Madison: The guy's getting very good at smoothing down the divide. Forget fashion—he oughta be in politics.