Designers played hardball this season, channeling as their muse a tough black-clad, strong-shouldered power babe. But it wasn't a case of all-out aggression. Even Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who sent a cadre of "metallic women" stalking down their runway, introduced some tulle-wrapped pieces amid the whips and chains. The Milanese duo weren't the only ones attracted to this sort of light layering: Thakoon Panichgul blunted the shine of sequins with the see-through fabric and Tuleh's Bryan Bradley applied it over a floral print. And a variation on the theme—fishing-net mesh—made appearances at Giles, Givenchy, and Nina Ricci. "Tulle is an amazing material because it indicates volume and transparency at the same time," said Jens Laugesen. "It's a great way of softening hard edges.