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It’s All in the Mix – Just Cavalli, Mila Schon, Byblos, Debora Sinibaldi

There was a little of everything on the spring runways, from simple, clean-cut pants to Mexican-motif baby-doll tops to flirty bloomers inspired by Julie Christie.

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There was a little of everything on the spring runways, from simple, clean-cut pants to Mexican-motif baby-doll tops to flirty bloomers inspired by Julie Christie.

Just Cavalli: It’s no surprise that, when hot weather comes, Roberto Cavalli’s Just Cavalli girl will be heading to some rocking beach party. The question is: What sandy shores will she hit next? According to the stage set, Cavalli imagines his sultry chica frolicking amongst Mayan ruins and two-story-high tropical cocktails alike. That summer staple, white cotton piqué, gets a Cavalli makeover when cut into micro blazers with python borders and plastic coating, or a swingy circle skirt topped by a brightly striped polo. Floaty cotton gauze trapeze and baby-doll tops decorated with Aztec relief and Mayan motifs looked fresh topping skinny, cropped denim jeans. But when Cavalli really pumped up the volume, as in ridiculously huge balloon sleeves on dresses and tops that drooped under their own weight, it made a girl yearn for the simple breezy peasant-style tops over racy swimsuits that closed the show.

Mila Schön: Over the past few seasons, Mila Schön’s design team has been working through some kinks — attempting to find its footing between the house’s past and a contemporary collection.

Moving forward is never an easy task, especially when a brand’s identity isn’t well-defined. Yet for spring, the team reached a better equilibrium with smart tailored jackets, graphic chiffon dresses, wide-knit macramé tanks and flouncy miniskirts. A steady palette of black, white and cream kept the collection clean, if at times too safe. The show notes said the collection set out to “explore the world of contrasts with grace and a dash of playful mischief,” and while there was grace in the jackets’ delicate braid details, mischievousness, it seems, will have to wait until next season.

Byblos: The mood was pretty much a summery evolution of last season’s mixed message, in which sporty pieces and good tailoring were designed to share closet space.

The design foursome at Byblos agreed that Julie Christie, at her feminine best, would be their starting point. To that end, they whipped up a lineup of bloomers, nipped blazers, ruffled knitwear, denim and a plethora of silk camisoles, which they mixed with abandon in contrasting combos. The color chart was abloom with sage green, lilac, rose and baby yellow in solids and color-blocked prints.

Debora Sinibaldi: It’s natural for any neophyte designer to experiment with aesthetics before firmly carving out an identifiable look. In her third season, Debora Sinibaldi made the forgivable mistake of departing from her sophisticated-yet-easy tailoring and going for tricky glam. Before the show, she dubbed the collection “everyday star,” and said she was after a kind of egalitarian sexiness. Yet her confusing means — laser cut, layered chiffon skirts, cropped gray sweatshirt hoodies and fur-trimmed clogs — fell short of the promised end. Fortunately, she returned to sweet elegance with smart black-and-white, A-line knit dresses, silk basket-weave jackets and sweet gingham bustier tops. Sinibaldi has some growing pains to go through still, but if she focuses on dressing the kind of women she is — a striking mother of three — she’ll reach the audience she’s after.

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