Steven Alan has dabbled in denim before now, but this collection marked his first heartfelt foray into that hotly contested market. His came in natural blue and over-dyed and bleached so pale it almost looked acid-washed. And, as an added grace note for all the denim nerds out there, his relaxed jeans and boxy jackets were sourced, soup to nuts, from Japan. The Steven Alan clientèle will be psyched. The designer knows his customer well. The new denim was part of a larger story here -one inspired by his visits to the new Whitney Museum downtown and his re-appreciation of Abstract Expressionist canvases and, by extension, the men who painted them. Steven Alan said that he wanted to make clothes "a guy could work all night in", and with that in mind, he erred his collection toward shapes with a worn-in sense of ease and materials, such as the moleskin he used in shirt-cum-jackets, that could withstand a beating. Even Steven Alan’s suiting looked like it could stand up to a spontaneous late-night painting sesh. The AbEx influence also reared its head in the collection’s smudged, Rothko-esque palette and in its nods to mid-century beatnik-itude. To wit, the sweatshirt with a turtleneck collar and Steven Alan’s shrug-on (but nevertheless natty) overcoats. The designer wasn’t reinventing his aesthetic, but did give it a considerable twist by hinting hard at bygone downtown bohemia. Still, the great-looking denim was the real story here.