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Lilly Pulitzer: It’s been a long time coming. But after 42 years in business, Lilly Pulitzer decided it was time to do a formal runway presentation, to coincide with her first-ever national print campaign. And her uplifting, colorful show did not disappoint. It was pure preppy Pulitzer: shift dresses, pants and swimwear in her classic vivid prints featuring tiny animal and floral motifs. Her simpler looks were charming, too. Of note were a pair of loose linen pants, cashmere cable sweaters and shrunken polos. And while the women’s wear was a crowd pleaser, the audience went gaga over the mini versions she sent out on little girls. For Pulitzer herself, it was an emotional event and during her bow — to a standing ovation — it was difficult to miss, or not be touched by, her tears.
This story first appeared in the September 24, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Rebecca Taylor: The season she took off from showing must have rejuvenated Rebecca Taylor because her glam-punk collection was a strong one. Inspired by her collection of old David Bowie albums, she sent out a lineup of baggy pants cinched at the ankles, pieced together T-shirts, a silver-dusted leather skirt, cigarette pants with ankle buttons and cool, wrapped-lace Ts. This was not the usual “girlified” Taylor fare, but she still offered plenty of her signature chiffon tops with beaded embroidery, little print dresses and floaty, crystal-beaded skirts, which softened — and worked perfectly with — her Bowie moment.
Nanette Lepore: Nanette Lepore has some sense of humor — and it showed in her spring collection. She delivered a playfully charming show with plenty of little girl-type looks with cutesy floral prints. While some of it had a kitschy retro flavor, she tempered it with fresh silhouettes — bibbed minidresses, cropped cargos and little tanks. She also offered a series of delicate Empire or apron tops that were either beaded or crocheted. With the exception of her too-triangular smock dress, Lepore was on a roll.
Baby Phat: Talk about a hot ticket. Kimora Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat show Sunday night had all the front-row fans a girl could hope for, including Brittany Murphy, Mya and Vogue’s André Leon Talley. Problem was she had several hundred others outside — all with legit tickets in hand — who charged the Theater, forcing police to clear the lobby.
Fracas aside, the show was worth it. Enlisting the help of stylist Patti Wilson, Simmons sent out a tight collection entitled “Bahama Mama.” There was a great green linen biker jacket over a multicolored snakeskin maillot, strapless jumpsuits in tiger-print velour or white sequins, draped white jersey dresses and tops with python leather accents that fell seductively off the shoulder, not to mention plenty of denim, be it cut-off HotPants with hand-painting or pink capris with zippers. Simmons said that, aside from the earlier chaos, she wanted the collection to be happy and warm, “what a chic girl in the Islands would wear.” She succeeded.