The Vera Wang Fall 2014 collection was one of the most reflective of her own personal aesthetic that she has done in a long time. Wang got serious for a moment. “I am always known for the tomboy look, something sporty and nonchalant,” she said. “But this time round, I wanted to give the idea of sexiness and sensuality a more boyish vibe, which makes them feel younger. Look,” she said, laughing again, “I am the eternal teenager—if only in my mind, okay?!”

What all this translated into was a kicky toughness—plaids, block checks, pebbled leather, raw-edged furs—worked with a dark-hued lyricism, exploring the ideas of transparency, layering, and what happens to a harder-edged attitude when it collides with romanticism, in its Caspar David Friedrich sense of the term, rather than hearts and flowers. To give you an idea of what all this means, here’s a collage of how it played out: an Edwardian cloak over a tartan dress and a peasant blouse, the look adorned with a smoky gemstone cicada brooch; a sweater emblazoned with the legend You Bug Me over a full leather skirt; and a nascent trend in the New York collections thus far, the cozy oversize sweater atop a diaphonous dress. Elsewhere, Wang, who is always strong on evening, gave a few different ideas on how that could be made to look interesting now; perhaps swap the drama of the long dress for a floor-length plaid floral chine georgette dressing-gown coat with an epic train in its wake over a matching masculine-shape shirt and slouchy drawstring-waist pants, for instance. Elsewhere, she stayed true to her big-night roots with a series of dramatic black gothica dresses in cobweb lace or gathered and pleated silk tulle. Yes, they’d look great with antique diamonds that have retained their inner flicker of light, but they’d also work just as well with another kind of adornment, like a sole strategically placed tattoo.