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Twinkle by Wenlan: Wenlan Chia stayed true to her penchant for tossing textured knits over light fabrics like silk georgette, while adding signature whimsical touches, such as a charming trompe l’oeil button motif on an intarsia sweater.
Lela Rose: The fun of Lela Rose’s otherwise predictably pretty collection was to be found in some lean paillette dresses and a few terrific mixes of sporty and dressy, such as the taffeta parka over a sequined tank.
This story first appeared in the February 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Form: In their most mature collection yet, design collective Jerry Tam, Kelly Andrews and Eric Werner presented convention with a twist in wool suits and silk dresses that erased the line between the conceptual and the wearable.
Jeremy Laing: Snaps and sequins — on billowy Ts and gowns — made an appearance at the typically minimalist Jeremy Laing, where they worked best on form-fitting dresses.
Costello Tagliapietra: Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra’s theme of a hauntingly Grimm fairy tale added depth to their usual repertoire of alluring draped dresses, including the standout raccoon-print opener, but the duo still needs to shake off the repetition that often bogs down their shows.
Sass & Bide: At Sass & Bide, Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke worked their classic, exuberant flourishes, such as sequins on tunics and superbright red, green and yellow plaids, into a tightly edited collection that stayed on the wearable side of edgy (the shirred black leggings were a hit).
Rock & Republic: After several seasons of revving up his business, Rock & Republic creative director Michael Ball installed red-carpet maestro David Cardona as his vp of design, and his signature hard-edged sex appeal was all over the runway, from the dramatic silk jersey gowns to pleated leather coats trimmed with fox.
Abaeté: In her first attempt at true sportswear, Laura Poretzky turned out a successful lineup of ruffled tops, pleated trousers, embroidered skirts and outerwear, but not to worry, she still featured plenty of cocktail dresses, whether corseted or draped, Grecian-style.
Jovovich-Hawk: There was a real sweetness to Milla Jovovich and Carmen Hawk’s fall collection, made up of lean wool suits and swingy dresses, with embroidered hearts showing up on a black jumper and stripes on silk dresses.
United Bamboo: Once again, Thuy Pham and Miho Aoki looked to modern architecture for inspiration for a lineup of PVC-trimmed coats and dresses accented with copper tubing, which were a bit gimmicky, but their men’s wear-inspired pleated trousers and shrunken jackets were cool classics at their best.
Araks: In a collection made for flirty tomboys, Araks Yeramyan Andrews presented boyish silhouettes that contrasted playful transparent skirts and blouses with more conservative pieces.
Mara Hoffman: Starting with hip knits and finishing with their signature fluid dresses, Mara Hoffman and Klee Van Schoonhoven’s collection featured headdresses and knits loosely inspired by Arabia, and urban pieces with a military bent.
Alexandre Herchcovitch: The mushroom-shaped fur shrugs were ridiculous, but the sculptural and kimono dresses showed that Alexandre Herchovitch’s experimental take on proportion, texture and color can be wearable.
James Coviello: Holding on to that vintage feeling, James Coviello’s beautifully textured collection featured layered prints with colorful knits and tweeds accessorized with his freshly revived hat line.
Development by Erica Davies: Erica Davies could have succumbed all too easily to her inspiration — Marlene Dietrich in “Gold Earrings” — with a bevy of bohemian flourishes, but fortunately, she kept the references to a little silk fringe here, a little ikat there, instead delivering street-smart, edgy basics.
Lyell: In her first runway show, Ecco Domani winner Emma Fletcher sent forth a series of wispy blouses and lovely slim dresses that seemed right for both high tea and an evening on the town.
Sari Gueron: Sari Gueron’s ruffled, tiered dresses worked best when she infused them with bright colors.
Sue Stemp: Sue Stemp threw a party at the tony Norwood club and she dressed her girls accordingly — in a parade of saucy jewel-toned or floral-printed dresses.
Steinunn: Taking a page from artist Hildur Bjarnadóttir, Steinunn Sigurd successfully explored the evolution of doodles, with, for example, a graphic print on gossamer chiffon.
Thuy: There were some interesting architectural jackets and origami details in Thuy Diep’s collection, but the clothes did not warrant the hour-plus wait.
Tom Scott: Taking the rough with the smooth, Tom Scott mixed chunky textured knits with gauzy nylons — to wit, a knitted pullover worn over a peekaboo slip.
Akiko Ogawa: Working a multitude of motifs, from tartans sashed around dresses and splashed on trousers, to streamers flying off skirts and gowns with oversize bustles, Akiko Ogawa’s theatrics sometimes obscured her strong sense of proportion and color.
Frank Tell: Life on Planet Mod was the vibe of Frank Tell’s 18-piece collection, which offered up Sixties-inspired party dresses as well as some more wintry ensembles in Scottish wool and Mongolian fur.
Obedient Sons & Daughters: For their second go at women’s wear, Christina and Swaim Hutson again played to their mixed-gender motif with somber English-inspired clothes, but the collection was unfortunately off the mark with those brocade tuxedo jackets worn over shorts or droopy riding pants.
Don the Verb: Yanina Landsaat and Hana Astrom’s second collection offered sculptural coats and dresses that their downtown clientele will love, though most of the wacky separates could have used a rethink.
Na-be by Victorya Hong: For her first runway show, Victorya Hong saluted the Eighties power woman with double-breasted silhouettes and pleats, pairing sleeveless blazers with slim cropped pants for day, though some oh-so-retro colors and cutout details for evening took her inspiration to the extreme.
Juan Carlos Obando: An Angeleno well worth discovering, Juan Carlos Obando put his considerable draping skills to work in a series of elegant gowns, but it was his minidress hand-sewn from more than 100 yards of silk chiffon strips that really wowed the crowd.