"I was thinking about obedience and disobedience, and the roles they play in personal style—that idea of making rules that you know you're going to break," said Mona Kowalska backstage before her A Détacher show. Kowalska designs for cultured, thinking women like herself who don't necessarily adhere to trends, and that gives her collections a refreshing ingenuity. The new lineup featured slightly offbeat details like "runaway zippers" that strayed off their garments, and sweaters that appeared to be unraveling or artfully moth-eaten. Kowalska also had her teenage daughter scrawl out the phrase "I will pretend to care" repeatedly, then turned her handwriting into a print, used on silk rompers and sack dresses.

The primary silhouette here was squared with angular shoulders and zero emphasis on the waist or hips, as seen on boxy shifts and plaid skirt sets. To be sure, it's not the most flattering shape for all body types, but then again, Kowalska isn't trying to please everybody. Still, the designer suggested that she might crowdsource her next collection: A slip of paper included in the show notes read, "I think this is a good time to do something new. Maybe instead of thinking about my stuff, I could think about yours. We could form a mind meld for one collection." A beguiling proposition, indeed.