This season, Umit Benan's destination was Manhattan. His Trussardi program notes mentioned a beautiful uptown home and the trees of Central Park, but his set depicted a graffiti-covered downtown rooftop. That disconnect isn't a small detail when a good portion of your audience hails from the Big Apple. But it wouldn't have mattered if these clothes were as winning as those he showed a year ago at his Trussardi debut.

Benan's instincts as a menswear designer are indisputable. He still seems unsteady, though, when it comes to women's clothes. It's tough to picture the girl, uptown or down, who would choose his yellow double-breasted pantsuit with five rows of mother-of-pearl buttons. Tailoring was the meat and bones of this collection, and most of it just came off as too heavy and stiff. A leather top and a leather blazer in New York City in the summer? Not a good mix. What did look smart were the shoes, sling-back oxfords with metal decoration that nailed the luxe practicality we think of as essential to this label. Otherwise, the promise that has made Benan one to watch went strangely unfulfilled this season.