There's something about looking at Jasmin Shokrian's latest Draft No. 17 collection that raises questions about the nature of gender in fashion design. Shokrian's Draft No. 17 label is the increasingly popular diffusion line of her eponymous mainline, and she uses it as a platform for making sculptural clothes that are accessible both in terms of aesthetic and price. This puts Shokrian in a category that broadly includes designers such as Maria Cornejo, Mary Ping, Victoria Bartlett of VPL, Leana Zuniga of Electric Feathers, and Mona Kowalska of A Détacher. This is one movement in American fashion driven by women. Why? And more importantly, why aren't these clothes seen more, and these designers talked about more? Somewhere in the answers to those questions lurks the answer to another one, which is: Why hasn't American fashion produced its own Phoebe Philo?

Anyway, about the collection. This season, Shokrian has struck a fine balance between clothes that are easy to wear and appealing and her own predilection for challenging construction. The silhouettes here are relaxed without being slouchy; instead, Shokrian relies on loose draping, wide-leg shapes, and elements such as kimono-belting to give everything a laid-back feeling. Some of the pieces feel slightly monastic, such as a pair of super-wide-leg trousers cropped just above the ankle, but it's a tone Shokrian nicely sets off with flirty touches like short hemlines on skirts and the open back on a sheerish chiffon blouse. On her more tailored pieces, her sculptural construction has a feminizing effect—to wit, the petal-shaped hip on a circle-hemmed pencil skirt. (Ever attuned to the functional aspect of her clothes, Shokrian has cut the petals to contain pockets.) All in all, this is a collection destined to improve on the momentum that Draft No. 17 has already picked up at retail.