Richard Tyler: Too, Too Much

After his magnificent effort for Anne Klein last week, expectations for Richard Tyler's signature collection were high. Too high. For the most part, his clothes, though impeccably constructed, were just too heavy-handed.

Parts of Richard's collection looked just fine. His tailored pieces were cut with an intricacy unrivaled in New York, and his fabric mixes were beautifully buoyant. He got off on a good military note with fitted olive dresses and jackets, seamed and buttoned to a fare-thee-well, and he sent out plenty of those glammed-up dandy looks his Hollywood stars love. At night, he did his siren number, with a pair of knockout bias-cut charmeuse gowns, in brown with lace insets, and in a black diamond-patterned slip.

But while Richard's spring clothes were detailed with elegance if not restraint, this time out he buttoned, embroidered, bordered and otherwise bedecked everything with a frenetic gusto that too often buried the clothes.

Linda Allard for Ellen Tracy: The Real Thing

This was not only Linda Allard's first outing under the Bryant Park big top, it was also her first runway show. That didn't tempt her to pull any circus stunts, however. Linda just showed lots of what she does best -- real clothes. And with just about every major store chairman in her audience, it's obvious that the Ellen Tracy collection is a money-maker.

Allard jump-started her presentation with her young and snappy secondary line, Company by Ellen Tracy. In addition to sweet little schoolgirl suits and jumpers, Allard showed some terrific coats, including a worn, black leather rocker jacket and a long, hooded striped Tibetan number.

The designer's collection coats were also standouts, especially her shearlings over matching knits. Her military group looked crisp with navy midcalf coats over white shirts and navy leggings or a little trench jacket with a kilt. For evening, there were sexy double-breasted tuxedo suits worn with matching silk faille and suede to-the-knee boots. But Allard could have left some of the lackluster suits and the dated-looking belted knit dresses back in the showroom.

Donna Karan: She Is Woman

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