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NEW YORK — Did you catch the fashion whirlwind that blew through town last week? If not, here’s a roundup of the hip, beautiful and the downright wacky looks that came down the American runways.

This story first appeared in the February 19, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Custo Barcelona’s Custo Dalmau made a few additions to his kaleidoscope-colored collection with lots of outerwear — quilted nylons, faux shearlings and fleece. His idea of evening consisted of sequined Ts and long T-shirt dresses that are appropriate for the MTV/TRL generation. As usual, however, he overdid the head-to-toe prints. That’s too bad, because if he had paired them with solids — like his denim pieces — it would have worked.

Natalie Chanin and partner Enrico Marone-Cinzano did up the celebrated Bowlmor Lanes high school gym set for a prom for their Project Alabama show. Their models — real people — pranced and posed à la cheesy prom photos, wearing elaborately quilted Ts, fitted blazers and poufy ballskirts. Following the party circuit, Zaldy designed for the club kid — skintight corduroys, a citrus-colored shredded dress with crystal details and a sexy strapless mini with gathers. A bit costumey, yes, but tempered with wearable pieces such as oversized-button coats, a zip-front gown, lamb vest and the paneled skirts. And there was almost too much to digest at Y&Kei, despite the guiding hand of Matt Damhave. They hit upon ongoing trends such as cropped cargos, cozy sweaters, aviation influences and fur, fur, fur, and their passion for details — lace, embroidery and paillettes — shone through. But the droopy satin pants, heavy back pockets and embellished denim just didn’t look current.

And finally, meet the newest members of the downtown cool club. Monika Kowalska bowed her A Detacher line, which she’s been selling quietly but steadily from her Mott Street store for the last four years. She did beautiful chunky knits paired with slim skirts, sexy gathered dresses and smart outerwear, including a chic rabbit capelet and padded cotton V-neck coat. To temper this romantic feeling, she added crossed belts or brass chain details. And Christopher Deane’s Christopher Crawford and Angela Deane offered their Valentine to the holiday with heart and dove motifs incorporated into rich red, pink and teal fabrics. But overall, there was less romance and more hip streetwear with a Mod and punk vibe.