This show was a bit of a conundrum. The aim, according to Alex Orley, who designs the young line with his brother Matthew and sister-in-law Samantha, was to "tell a story through knitwear", utilizing as many knitwear techniques as they could. That resulted in many fine pieces, but it also made for a collection that was, essentially, about clothes qua clothes, as opposed to a collection wherein the clothes serve a larger vision of who the Orley man or woman is now. The memorable looks, though, made the case for Orley’s potential. Chief among these were the deconstructed cable-knit sweaters, which got at the lineup’s loosely interpreted maritime theme in a fresh way. There was a distinctive attitude in those sweaters, conveyed via canny techniques that deserved to be further explored. The same could be said of the collection’s other standouts, the floral and nautilus-printed knits that managed the trick of being very pretty without being at all frothy. That was an interesting tone to strike, especially in the menswear, and it echoed in subtle touches like the bell shape given to a few crewneck sweaters. Elsewhere, the interest was in the make of the clothes and their fine details. The knit tailoring, trim knit polos, and dense waffle-knit sweaters will undoubtedly have a ton of hanger appeal. The palette was also noteworthy, giving the offering as a whole a poetic expressiveness it would otherwise have lacked. Speaking after the show, Alex noted that one of the animating ideas of the Orley brand is to subtract the machismo from masculine looks, and the palette was one area of this collection where you felt that that modus operandi had been rigorously applied. If the designers can extend that thinking to every aspect of their work, and extrapolate it with the inventiveness they brought to bear in their fantastic unraveled fisherman’s knits, then they’ll be telling a story people can’t wait to hear.