After decamping to Paris for two seasons, Zac Posen returned to his hometown of New York with a key lesson. “It’s all about pretty,” he said during a preview.

For Posen, that meant doing away with sportswear and focusing mainly on elegant cocktail and evening dresses, a concept he’s most comfortable with. That was a good premise, but there was still plenty of the old Posen grandeur in his spring lineup. He cited the making of Christina Ricci’s corseted and netted gown for the Costume Institute gala as one of his creative impulses for the clothes, and for spring delivered ample construction along with elements and details such as architectural peplums and double lapels, which brought a sense of severity to some of the form-fitting shapes.

To his credit, Posen toned down the mega drama that has at times stood between his runway and reality, and most of his dresses looked if not exactly easy, then appealing to ladies who like to work the glam side of evening. In addition, silhouettes like a cornflower print dress added a welcomed softness — a direction Posen may want to expand in future collections.

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