Sally LaPointe has been stretching her business legs recently. In the past six months, she’s upgraded to a larger studio, expanded her design team, and dipped her toes into the Resort market with a small capsule. “We didn’t expect Resort to do so well, and it did really well,” LaPointe told. The surprising success of that collection (Bergdorf placed several reorders) triggered her to launch Pre-Fall with a tight collection of signature items that are admittedly more wearable than the designer’s directional runway fare. “We’re starting to know who our customer is, more and more, and it’s a big relief. She’s growing up and is more streamlined now,” said LaPointe at a preview of the new lineup, which debuts. Core pieces included recognizable body-con sheath dresses featuring strong shoulders and sharp seaming. While LaPointe herself prefers all-black everything, retailers have reportedly been going for the plum-colored number with a toothsome torso cutout and open back, which was cut from an embossed silk jacquard that had a nice stretch to it. Elsewhere, LaPointe riffed on tuxedos with a smart pair of peplum trousers (she is planning to wear them to her Fall ’14 show in a few weeks), as well as a tailored topcoat done in wool cashmere that boasted croc-stamped leather lapels. Speaking of, outerwear has always been one of LaPointe’s strong suits, and another highlight here was a cropped, swingy camel jacket with leather panels. All in all, we’d say LaPointe’s Pre-Fall trial was a success worth repeating.