Lisa Perry's Spring starting point was tennis. For her presentation, the designer transformed the grounds of her Upper East Side boutique into an Astroturf court, chalk lines and all. The clothes she sent out reflected that theme, although not in a way that could be expected from Perry, whose standby Courrèges-inspired shapes were few and far between.

"It's very different," Perry said of the all-white collection. Gone were the typical A-line silhouettes. Instead, she did a lot of long dresses. The most classic styles, in silk crepe or a tennis-appropriate cotton piqué, were sexy and easy to imagine on her clients. The others—which featured all different sorts of asymmetrical hems—were inventive, but somewhat confusing. Even if Perry wants to "mix things up," she must also consider what her customer wants to wear. And pulling off a long cotton-silk dress with three large cutout circles vertically dotting the torso (circles are a Perry motif) is no easy feat. No matter how thin or model-esque one's figure may be, seeing a belly button poke out of a big circle in such a way just isn't flattering.

But all was not lost. On the minidress front, Perry was at the top of her game. A deep V-neck frock with inverted side pleats was cute and cool, as was a silk crepe halter with an open back. The swimsuit, paired with a silk-cotton skort, really did look worthy of the court. Or lunch courtside. To be sure, more commercial options—in rich colors and best-selling silhouettes—will be available to buyers. If this latest effort was less than perfect, you have to hand it to Perry: She's pushing herself. And that's ace.