Black, white, and colorful all over: That was Barbara Tfank's idea for Spring. The maker of modern-with-a-retro-tinge cocktail dresses created a collection of short frocks and long gowns meant to not only please her loyal customer, but also add some newness to her Michelle Obama-approved, Los Angeles-based line. "I wanted to give my clients something just a bit different," she said at her presentation in an intimate Chelsea art gallery.

The first look, a brushed-cotton almost-minidress in black with a cage neckline, delivered on that. The look was sexy, but delicate bows at the top of the shoulders gave just a little Audrey Hepburn appeal. Another winner was an off-the-shoulder, close-fitting gown in what Tfank is calling "Byzantine bouclé." From afar, the multicolored material looked as if it were made of millions of tiny beads; the texture was unexpected, and the silhouette elegant. Both of those numbers had interesting necklines, and this season Tfank did best when she focused on that area of a woman's body. Unexpected slits at the collar of a floral shift dress offered it just the right oomph such a classic style needs. Two dresses done in bias-cut charmeuse printed with purple poppies were elegant, but maybe not as memorable. Tfank is an interesting talent, though, and this collection proved that she's more than just a pretty dress.