"I didn't watch any of the Olympics! I swear!" So claimed London-based designer Alessandra Rich as she showed her presentation by appointment today. You had to wonder whether Rich had, in fact, gotten deeply into the Games, inasmuch as her new collection riffed on those ludicrous yet amazing leotards that Olympic gymnasts wear. But, no: The designer affirmed that her collection was inspired by a lot of thinking about Russian girls. Rich gave her girls names—Olga and Irina—and a backstory that saw the merging of the iconic Russian female gymnast and the (now equally) iconic Russian jet-set glamour girl. It was an oddball starting point for a collection, but it worked.

Rich's chicest interpretations of her Olga-meets-Irina concept were her leotard-inspired dresses with floor-length full skirts. The silhouette felt fresh for evening—insouciant, yet formal. A black lace dress with a full skirt ought to get a decent amount of play on the red carpet. Elsewhere, the designer's punchiest take on her theme was undoubtedly her stretchy pencil dresses emblazoned with flame and lightning-bolt designs. Girls who wear these out are going to have a lot of fun; then again, the girls who'd want to wear these dresses are probably fun already. There were other fine looks in this collection—though Rich specializes in dresses, her silk-satin tuxedo jumpsuit suggested that she ought to develop more tailoring—and her lace tunic dresses helped to vary the collection's generally body-con silhouette. But there were some misfires, too: a gaudy bright pink lace column dress, for instance, and dresses dappled with crystal embroidery. But when Rich stuck to her instincts to keep things graphic and clean, her looks were definite winners. Gold-medal-worthy, you might say.