Tory Burch's first runway show in seven-plus years of being in business coincides with reams of good news. First and foremost, there's the milestone of her 8,135-square-foot Madison Avenue flagship, which opened last week. She's making real dents in cash-cow categories like eyewear and costume jewelry, and has a new full swimwear line. Also in the offing: more stores in the U.S., as well as Singapore, Dubai, Beirut, and São Paolo; a fragrance; an activewear line; and a toe-dip into men's.

For Spring, Burch chose as her starting point twenties-era Deauville, a place synonymous with another smart woman (Coco Chanel) who spun a knack for knowing how women want to dress into an empire. Burch would no doubt shy from the comparison. Part of the designer's success has been in her clear-eyed lack of hubris about what she does and her place in the industry constellation, thus the delay in staging a full show.

Her stars aligned. This was a great collection, and Burch at her most refined. The magpie manner was shelved for something smart and neat—quite a feat if you consider there was no dearth of color, print, beading, or raffia fringe. Even on such well-trodden ground, Burch and her team found a way to have fun and make things their own. Their take on the iconic sailor stripe was marcelled into waves. And the dots on those two fab tiered organza dresses with rickrack trim were tiny little squares.

The show isn't a one-time affair. "Honestly, it's an easier format for me," Burch said afterward. And with multitudes of people having logged on to her Web site to see the live stream, not a bad marketing tool, either.