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Something Bold

Designers go for broke with exuberant abstract patterns, fresco-style brushstrokes and high-octane allover sequins.

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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.

Yigal Azrouël: Can a burlap sack ever look good? Yes, if it’s Yigal Azrouël’s tunic version. But if that sort of literal schlubby chic isn’t your thing, consider the rest of his terrific, artfully casual collection: so-soft jersey pieces, slouchy boyfriend cardigans and deconstructed shirts, all featuring some manner of twisting, hand-embroidery or jute detailing. Even his glitzy, sequined take on evening was laid-back and cool. He’s designing with confidence in his undone aesthetic, best illustrated by a floor-length evening skirt nonchalantly paired with a battered white T-shirt and flat sandals. Azrouël’s runway proved that he’s also focusing more on the brand, sending out covetable accessories and men’s wear, and introducing swimwear — love that green tie-dyed two-piece.

More from the Shows…

Organic: John Patrick took a fresh approach to his eco-fashion theme, this time delivering a lineup of recycled cotton blouses and dresses and organic Italian linen trousers that looked chicer than ever.
Trovata: With a performance by rocker Perry Farrell and a rousing capoeira dance number, John Whitledge’s first solo show was certainly lively, but where was the fashion? The eight women’s looks — all-white breezy summer basics — left guests wanting more.

Jolibe: Clean lines and crisp colors added beautiful definition to Joel Diaz’s minimalist suits and pants, making Jolibe one to watch in future seasons.

Rachel Comey: Those black-rimmed glasses certainly gave a prim bookworm vibe, but Rachel Comey showed a kittenish side, too, channeling playful retro charm à la Gidget with beachy skirts and tanks.

Alexandra Lind Rose for Fiandaca: While Alexandra Lind Rose brought a dollop of fun to the label with short pleated bubble skirts, she went overboard on the adorable factor.

Eventide: Design duo Sarah Spratt and Christian Stroble showed a cute, if not completely exciting, range, including dresses embellished with subtle detailing and rendered in a neutral palette.

Boy by Band of Outsiders: Using his classically tailored men’s line Band of Outsiders as a springboard to women’s wear, former Hollywood agent Scott Sternberg unveiled Boy, featuring mixed-stripe shirtdresses and well-cut tuxedo suits.

Form: Starting with a honeycomb shape, design collective Jerry Tam, Kelly Andrews and Eric Werner worked silk chiffon into chic two-toned dresses and silver taffeta into conceptual, yet oh-so-wearable, bubble skirts.

Todd Thomas: Todd Thomas returned after a three-year show hiatus with an amusing collection of frocks with prints inspired by Rorschach inkblots and SAT tests.

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