Dana Buchman: Creative director Max Wilson has four words for the Dana Buchman woman: "Get happy, get festive." Thus, he offered her a colorful bit of everything. His Palm Beach-meets-South of the Border inspiration was just a starting point, since the collection ranged from tailored coats and dresses in graphic Marimekko-esque prints to woven tanks embellished with stones and beading. Other standouts tapped a quieter, more polished side, as in the glazed linen trench and ladylike sheath with a crochet neckline.

Rachel Roy: For spring, Rachel Roy was inspired by modern art — and the collection proved to be a terrific hit. As for her artist muse, just look in-house. Her design team created various abstract paintings with a gentle attitude, which were then screen-printed onto dresses and coats for a vibe of romantic chic. She also artily punched up a gentle watercolor-print gown with gunmetal Swarovski crystals and embellished a simple sheath with wayward collage-like appliqués. Even the presentation, an intimate gallery-like showing with the artwork interspersed between models and mannequins, set the mood. Roy also played up the contrasts, as in a mannish vest-and-trouser combo as well as a bronze frock with oversize gemstones spilling down the neckline. "A woman can be both gritty and soft," she said.

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