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GenArt keeps proving to be one of fashion week’s hottest tickets here. The most recent installment, at downtown’s historic Mayan Theater, showcased some promising new talent.<br><br>One of its brightest stars was Kate O’Connor, whose...

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GenArt keeps proving to be one of fashion week’s hottest tickets here. The most recent installment, at downtown’s historic Mayan Theater, showcased some promising new talent.

One of its brightest stars was Kate O’Connor, whose fine-gauged knits didn’t miss a beat. She sent out a great coral and beige striped V-neck minidress and a series of strapless or halter “Boogie Nights”-style jumpsuits. Then there was a naughty schoolgirl pleated mini and a wrapped sweater over cropped drawstring pants.

At Mon Petit Oiseau, designer Tracy Wilkinson did girly clothes á la Ali MacGraw in “Love Story.” This meant dainty floral dresses, gathered at the bust and tied at the shoulders, worn alone or layered over contrasting print skirts. Denim A-line skirts featured oversized pockets, belts and contrast red, orange and turquoise stitching. Louis Verdad also went for nostalgia, this time via the flash and dash of Mexico City, circa 1950. He worked a simple white camisole over a pretty full skirt made of ribbons woven vertically over layers of black tulle, and his version of a black-and-white striped polo dress was long and plunged deep. And Ya-Ya’s Yael Aflalo had an updated Eighties moment: bondage straps around legs, stone-washed silk cargos or mesh hoodies.

Ashley Paige was all about fun in the sun with a bevy of sexy bikinis and cover-ups, detailed with shark teeth or shells, and a great lime strapless one-piece that ruched at the bust and was paired with a ruffled micro miniskirt. Meanwhile, Antonio Aguilar could have edited out the tricky one-shouldered, one-armed jackets and stuck to such great looks as the tailored cream dress lined with purple silk. Emily Bricker worked an eclectic vibe at Brick, pairing a gray thermal dress with a lace underskirt that was more mismatched cool than odd.

The accessories designers offered up lots of fun alternatives, such as Baltazar’s line of fancy punk- and rock-flavored studded belts and guitar straps or Coryn Madley’s knitted and crocheted wraps, scarves and sweaters in vintage fabrics and hand-dyed yarns. Flavio Olivera teamed metallic and matte-colored leathers in striped hobo bags and jewelry designer Anne Cherico did oversized silver chains and with handcast cameos.

This story first appeared in the November 6, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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