By  on February 13, 2006

NEW YORK — Fashion week was one of contrasts and many superlatives.

Most of the kudos went to Marc Jacobs, fashion's agent provocateur, for moving in a bold new direction that might take customers some getting used to. But if buyers had any reservations, they kept it to themselves. "Pushed the envelope," "really interesting" and "totally individual," were some of the phrases used to describe Jacobs' collection of multilayered, volumed pieces in dark tones.

Other collections garnering praise included Proenza Schouler, Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta and Michael Kors.

The desire for great day dresses was fulfilled as several designers did jersey numbers. There was a camel knit dress at Michael Kors and elsewhere, Forties-inspired dresses with a Lolita edge. The return of color after last fall's drab palette was also welcomed. Retailers waxed rapturous over red, hunter green and rich metallics.

There were some disappointments, though. "I would have liked to see a more consistently new direction throughout the shows," said one store executive. "My biggest disappointment is when people don't push themselves, and give us the same old."

Here is what buyers had to say on the New York fall season:

Ann Stordahl, executive vice president of women's apparel, Neiman Marcus:
What I liked: We liked Oscar from start to finish because of his modern sportswear and beautiful, luxurious fabrics. Proenza Schouler was clean and modern and the fabrics were beautiful. I liked Derek Lam's lean, elegant silhouettes. Donna Karan was terrific with all her innovative shapes and rich colors. I liked Carolina Herrera's daywear best and loved her beautiful red accents for evening.

On Marc Jacobs: His whole layered silhouette looked really new. I really enjoyed the serenity of the show. Usually people are polarized by Marc. I liked it because it was new.

Trends I spotted: Rich color versus last fall, which was quite somber. I loved the accents of red and the new hunter green. There was newness in layering, the skinny pants, leggings, knit dressing and the winter short.

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