Nowhere to be seen, however, was John Galliano, who is in the middle of a three-week stint working in de la Renta's studio. The question on guests' minds was if Galliano, fired from Christian Dior two years ago after an anti-Semitic rant was caught on video, would stay at de la Renta's house longer.

They were left to continue the rumor mill, but for the 15 minutes of show, they were fully engrossed in the show.

There seemed distinct segments of the collection: the uptown lady who wears a belted shawl-collar jacket; the artsy jetsetter who wears her black-and-ivory, Toile-print quilted skirt suit with panache; and the young socialite who can rock a shocking-pink ballgown with gold embroidery.

A delicate nude gown with black-bead embroidery likely is headed straight for the red carpet on a top Hollywood star.

BADGLEY MISCHKA

Mark Badgley and James Mischka are big movie buffs, and it shows in their clothes as they always seem attracted to silver-screen femme fatales.

Their fall collection had a film-noir vibe that always does well for them on the modern Hollywood red carpet. This time, the inspiration was Alfred Hitchcock movies â¿¿ their favorite being "Vertigo."

Kim Novak as a muse makes so much sense, Badgley said. "She's confident with a little bit of a dark, sexy side."

She also wears polished silhouettes like pencil skirts, fur stoles, halter-top gowns and tops with peplums very well, which fits the Badgley Mischka aesthetic perfectly.

This customer, though, also likes her shine. For fall, she gets a black-and-oyster lame dress, a metallic tweed suit and a jet-black silk and wool gown with a beaded back, cutout bodice and mermaid hemline.

JENNY PACKHAM

All the pretty young things who wear Packham's gowns on the red carpet are about to get a lesson in old-world glamour.

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