Naum: The strength of design team Julia Jentszch and Waleed Khairzada lies in the ability to take a basic shape and mold it in a way that is distinctly their own, without getting tricky. In their beautiful presentation, the duo explored gender-bending looks in a range of silhouettes, from superslim pantsuits to voluminous parkas. An alluring boatneck was placed on an otherwise classic white button-down, while a zipper circled the waist of wool trousers. To appreciate the subtlety of the clothes requires a certain sensitivity, but the cleverness of these young designers is undeniable.

Réyes: Who knew an anorak could be so sophisticated? José Ramón Reyes did, and, luckily for us, he put forth a sporty aesthetic — including the opening funnel-neck windbreaker dress — that deserved major props, especially the retail kind. Inspired by sport-themed magazine shoots from the Eighties, Reyes sent out strong, athletic girls in lean shapes and dark colors, often detailed with the kind of thick zippers found on outdoorsy jackets. And Reyes also offered the unexpected element, like a chic black utility vest done in pony.

Alexander Wang: In just five short seasons, Alexander Wang has matured well beyond his one-knit wonders from 2004. He flexed some serious ready-to-wear design muscle for fall, mining an Eighties-inspired collection that referenced everyone from Janet Jackson à la "Rhythm Nation" to Azzedine Alaïa. That retro glance turned downright classy and refined with great leather motorcycle pants, structured cotton parkas and pebbled silk blouses. Even his charmingly simple chemise frocks got a fabulously edgy upgrade, one in allover hammered sequins and another with a glam gold grommet treatment.

Stephen Burrows and Stephen Burrows World: "It's about the functions of your life. You need clothes like these," said Stephen Burrows, citing a conversation he had with model Anna Cleveland. Everyday trappings were his inspiration, and the Stephen Burrows World collection was all about the effortless chemise-cut dress done in the designer's signature jersey and color-blocking style. Accents came subdued and simple, like lettuce detailing that trimmed the edge of a dress or came tumbling down a neckline. Even his Stephen Burrows eveningwear, pepped up with the occasional floral and animal prints, had a gentle, no-fuss attitude — perfect for those spirited Cleveland girls on the go.Twinkle by Wenlan: This may have been one of Wenlan Chia's most grown-up collections to date — from the sweet, ingenue frocks to the chunky knit-and-silk gown pairings, she delivered a steady stream of wearable, très jolie hits.

Thuy: For her fledgling line Thuy, Thuy Diep channeled the structure and softness of a cocoon, showing a great lineup of voluminous coats and dresses detailed with side and angled pleats.

Alexandre Herchcovitch: Between the outrageous double-breasted, chap-legged jumpsuit and the Hefty Cinch Sak numbers in Alexandre Herchcovitch's typically madcap collection were some highly wearable pieces: printed hausfrau shirtdresses and a gorgeous blue-and-brown coat, none of them short on imagination.

Elise Øverland: New to the New York calendar, Elise Øverland sent out a cool collection of sophisticated, rocker-chic looks, like an ivory ruched jacket or second-skin leggings (both in lambskin), showing off her deft hand with leathers.

Karen Walker: While many of the tailored pieces were tricky, Karen Walker also worked in a sporty vein, turning the windbreaker into appealing looks, including a belted dress and an oversized version tossed over a cocktail frock.

Grey Ant: Ever inspired by Seventies disco, Grey Ant's Grant Krajecki made his high-waisted tailored trousers and voluminous mini dresses look chic and sexy, but he should have left the overly ruffled blouses on the design-room floor.

Unis: Eunice Lee relaunched her Unis women's wear collection with a smart lineup of subtly detailed men's wear-inspired pieces in muted neutrals.

Charlotte Ronson: Charlotte Ronson branched out beyond her typical sweet, wearable clothes with an array of energized sportswear — a teal cardigan punched up with an orange-and-brown print, blouse-and-shorts combo, as well as boyish jackets and shirts in quirky blue plaid.

Sue Stemp: Save for a cashmere peek-a-boo knit turtleneck and a black embroidered silk minidress, Sue Stemp's fall collection was mostly lackluster and uninspired.

Mara Hoffman: While Mara Hoffman was on the right track with the fluid printed silk dresses and dark, snug-fitting wool pieces, her 42-look collection felt all over the place and would have benefited from a good edit.Sans: The duo of Alessandro DeVito and Lika Volkova certainly have some lofty design ideas, but the execution left much to be desired — their conceptual lumps, bumps and geometric cutouts walked the weaker side of cerebral chic.

Sass & Bide: In their perhaps too-predictable manner, Sass & Bide's Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton sent out a slew of ruched and draped minidresses and blouses paired with uberskinny jeans — all touched with an Eighties rock-chic flair.

Jackie Rogers: Jackie Rogers can't seem to give up those good old days with Chanel and Fellini, and showing tarted-up dresses and aggressive numbers in a strip club isn't exactly a step in the right direction.

Rock & Republic: Michael Ball's wildly misguided, trashy Rock & Republic collection, including a Band-Aid-size sheer lace micromini, was nowhere near worth the hour-plus wait or the line that snaked around the corner of Cipriani.

Gustavo Arango: A trio of tasteful, pared-down cocktail dresses was the highlight of Gustavo Arango's otherwise dated-looking lineup of mostly satin and sparkly numbers.

Abaeté: Laura Poretzky showed a Mod-inspired collection at Abaeté, where cute minidresses and vinyl coats were somewhat overshadowed by the dowdy Navajo-patterned pieces and sequined frocks.

James Coviello: James Coviello's runway looked as if he had culled grandma's blankets, curtains and sweaters, then transformed them into smocks and pinafores that sometimes read as retro-cute, but more often kind

of fussy.

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