The last time Veronique Branquinho trod the boards was three years ago. Today was, she said, "a fresh start, more adult, more elegant." She almost nailed it. There was something casually patrician/grown-up about a floor-length, black and white striped polo dress in piqué, or a sleeveless shirtdress, also floor-length, in forest green, or a big-sleeved white blouse over a long, black skirt, unbuttoned for effect. Those looks made it obvious that Branquinho had moved on up to a more womanly level of sophistication. Elongation will do that.

And the story she told was a long one, in floor sweepers whose classical inflection—as in oracle of Delphi—was enhanced by pleating or metallic beading or a coppery laminate, which Branquinho confessed to being a little nervous about. It's so easy for that effect to nudge on cheap, especially when it clings. But here, her gowns had a shimmering fluidity.

The he/she dialogue that was always Branquinho's design signature was evident in the collection's jacket, a variant of a jean style given a sophisticated twist with some pleated volume. The designer punctuated the dress parade with those slouchy pants her fans once loved her for. Some of them were ultra-wide and buttoned down the side, so they scarcely interrupted the floor-sweeping flow that was ultimately the real point of the collection.