Dana Buchman: Slim Aarons was one of the hottest photographers from the Fifties to the Seventies, capturing the likes of such alluring ladies as C.Z. Guest, Jackie O and Babe Paley. It’s no wonder then that Dana Buchman, who took her inspiration from Aarons’ photos, came up with one of the most glamorous lineups she’s ever shown. There were terrific coats with lots of fur collars, classic tweed suits — and leather, leather and more leather. Buchman added rich touches, from evening skirts made of feathers to a mink cape tossed over basic jeans, and even some unexpected ones — a fox chubby, a leopard-print shift and a double-faced lilac coat with a lingerie camisole. It all looked cool and right in step with the season.

Escada: Escada traded sales for ease yesterday, as it closed its Fifth Avenue store to customers in order to present the fall collection to the press. And indeed, a tour and a light lunch was an ideal venue for seeing one of the company’s best collections. For the main line, design director Brian Rennie luxed things up with coats and suits in rich tweeds, some mixed with leather and plenty of fur. And he gave it all a sweet-meets-tough spin. A tweed suit, for instance, showed up as a leather-trimmed micro miniskirt with a matching jacket sporting little chains, while another version paired a below-the-knee, Fifties-inspired pencil skirt and soft-shouldered jacket.

For evening, Rennie switched gears seamlessly, sending out mermaid-shaped dresses and a beautiful Twenties-inspired beaded chiffon slip in rich wine. But why stop there when the ski slopes can be just as much a glamorous fashion free-for-all? So rounding out the sportif offering with a brocade ski ensemble made perfect sense.

Michael H: You’ve most likely seen Michael Houghton, but are ashamed to admit that you’re actually watching reality shows on MTV instead of tackling “Remembrance of Things Past” in your spare time. In that case, here’s a reminder: He’s the fashion-loving pal who took “Rich Girls” Ally Hilfiger and Jaime Gleicher to the What Comes Around Goes Around showroom. Well, neither Ally nor Jaime was in sight at Houghton’s show on Sunday night at rock club Don Hill’s, but the flashbulbs still flared for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, smiling like a proud papa, and Patti Hansen, whose daughter, Theodora Richards, walked in the show. “He’s come to me for advice,” said Hilfiger. “I told him he should have done this a long time ago. He’s got great style. And I think there’s a void for this kind of thing. It’s rock ’n’ roll clothes for normal people.”Houghton’s show, which included men’s wear, took its inspiration from Patti’s husband, Keith Richards, and didn’t disappoint. The lean and louche silhouettes of skinny, flared pants and slim-shouldered jackets were aptly accessorized by floppy snakeskin and leather hats, silk ties and embellished belts. Houghton, who consulted for denim couturier Henry Duarte some years ago, sent out an array of laced-up pants in denim, velvet, lambskin and pinstriped wool that was definitely a strong point. And models sporting perfect cold-eyed expressions were the icing on the cake. The show could have easily gone the way of camp, but Houghton managed to avoid costumery, and it will be interesting to see where this season’s momentum takes him.

Derek Lam: Ready for some rich gypsies? Well, Derek Lam certainly is, and for his second runway collection, he created a bevy of bohemian beauties in a lively eclectic mix of lush fabrics, tile prints and lots of crystals. Lam took a modern approach, using art references such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and the Ottoman civilization. There were, for example, oversized cashmere cardigans worn with Empire-waist ruffled dresses, tiled jacquard coats and a tulip-print, Empire-waist dress shown with a crystal blue fox stole. What’s great is that the designer didn’t take the theme too literally, and the fact that he kept it all short and sweet, sending out a mere 24 looks.

Rubin Chapelle: While tightly edited collections are always a welcome relief, a lineup of only 13 looks may be too little, especially when it’s a good thing. That’s the case with Sonja Rubin and Kip Chapelle’s architecturally directed Rubin Chapelle line. Sad, because the duo’s signature style — interesting detailing that comes off as cool rather than tricky — usually is a treat. Also, they dropped the eveningwear they did so beautifully last season in favor of a few suits, jackets and sweaters. But what was there was great — two different pinstripe fabrics sewn together to the effect of a suit-and-vest combo, or a chunky cable-knit sweater with a floppy, big neck. With this design team, the fun is in the details, like tuxedo pants with satin pocket trims instead of the expected stripe. Unfortunately, Rubin and Chapelle should have stayed off the silk route, as some of the architectural details in satin translated into sloppy rather than smart.

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