New York really does have it all, especially during this fashion week, when beautifully tailored separates, luxurious embellishments, sassy satins and jolts of color are flooding the runways.

BCBG Max Azria: Max Azria has always had the bottom line with a capital “B” on the brain, and though his foray into musical theater last year as a producer on “The Ten Commandments” may have seemed like folly, you can bet he was taking a close look at those box-office receipts. This man wants to bring fashion to the people, as stated in his show notes, “by offering innovative, high-quality clothing at contemporary price points.” Thanks, Max, it seems to be working.

One of the things that works in Azria’s favor is that for the last few seasons, his runway has been all but devoid of the references that occasionally burdened his past collections. Azria stuck with the freewheeling hippie chick he embraced last season, working crocheted insets into fluttering chiffon dresses and showing tops in earthy colors such as tobacco and evergreen. Salt-and-pepper tweed coats looked fresh when cut in two tiers, and evening dresses were pretty chic in sedate columns of tomato red or bottle green — a bit different than the usual flapper-type frou of the past.

Matthew Williamson: Bravo, Matthew! Quite simply, it was the best work the designer has shown since coming to New York in February 2002. That’s not to say there was a dearth of pretty clothes at past shows. On the contrary, a Williamson affair always has prettiness to spare. However, it’s become too easy for him to rely on the proven formula of Indian-inspired color and sparkle that makes his collection a must for bohemian babes.

With fall, the designer forged ahead to offer more refined options for frosty days, such as a slouchy cashmere jacket trimmed with silver beading and a creamy panne velvet skirt. And though Williamson’s forte is the flowing dress, his strength for fall actually lay in his beautifully tailored separates — from coats and jackets with pale panels of paisley-printed pashmina to sharply pleated multicolored cotton skirts. And when he showed some of his classic materials, such as a pink, turquoise and chocolate ombré silk, he bested a typical dress with a swingy pleated skirt that was paired with a terrific beaded knit tank. Could this show signal an upgraded path ahead for the designer? We’ll see at spring.

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