Akris: Albert Kriemler is on a roll and seems more in touch with his savvy customer than ever before. Notes for his spring Akris show reported inspiration from Italian painter Giorgio Morandi’s work, but there’s no reason to get too poetic about it all. Kriemler’s are wearable, real-life clothes that need no explanation. They’re not about hype, but quality and decorum.

This season, Kriemler brought a little more steam to his look, with slim tailoring and some suggestive dresses that were pretty, but he never lost track of his goal. Without antics or catering to the editorial set, Kriemler sent out another collection full of clothes that real women living in the real world will love.

His first show outside of the company’s Paris headquarters opened with a crisp white cotton bustier and lace circle skirt combination and floated gently along. There were slim jackets, cut with a peplum in a nod to that silhouette du jour, paired with narrow skirts that rode low on the hips. There were polite party dresses in gauze and super-fine ribbed knits.

Besides bringing a little newfound sexiness to the collection, however, Kriemler also infused the collection with a youthful energy. And while his quiet clothes aren’t the type typically seen on the runways of Paris, the retailers who count on the designer certainly don’t seem to mind.

Hussein Chalayan: Being a conceptualist in the fashion world has never been easy, especially if you’re not living on a trust fund. Hussein Chalayan knows that better than most. He’s been a card-carrying artiste since 1994, and he’s still searching for a way to express his unusual talent and pay the electric bills, too. For spring he launched a secondary line, called Chalayan, to be produced by Gibo, while lending his signature collection a more commercial look for good measure. Borrowing from the boys down on Wall Street, Chalayan reworked oversized men’s shirts into easy dresses, shown under a slouchy cardigan or khaki rain jacket. There were blousy sundresses cut in a blue calico. And although the soundtrack boomed with annoying angst, the clothes were carefree and lovely.

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