Anne Valerie Hash: After several years of crashing the couture schedule with her ready-to-wear collections, this season Anne Valerie Hash edged into the haute arena with a tightly edited group of 14 handmade creations. Though it's impossible to judge the full measure of a designer’s talent for the genre in so few pieces, Hash came up with some very pretty fare — a sunburst strapless gown in gray silk with satin insets, for instance, and the short citrine satin dress with geometric pleating. Throughout, she ratcheted up her favored masculine-feminine theme, here with the emphasis decidedly on the latter with huge sleeves, pleated details and more intricate construction. While these were lovely, one wonders about the future of small independent designers in this era of megahaute grandeur backed by megahaute bucks.

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