ANYTHING GOES
THERE WAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AS THE NEW YORK SPRING COLLECTIONS GOT UNDER WAY, FROM BARE LITTLE LINGERIE DRESSES TO GIRAFFE-PRINT FROCKS AND SNAPPY TRENCHCOATS.

Diane by Diane Von Furstenberg: Fresh, whimsical and feminine were the key words here. Von Furstenberg’s collection sprang to life with such winning new patterns as a bold giraffe motif, playful flamingoes, climbing ivy and — the most mischievous idea — a cannabis print. Sporty pieces continued to be a strong force, as in a lavender silk knit turtleneck with an embroidered lotus flower paired with a green lily pad-print skirt. Overall, the collection was a hit — and it was nice to see it shown on living, breathing mannequins for a change.

Betsey Johnson: Johnson said basta to models, runways and stylists this season, and opted instead to use “real girls” in an intimate presentation in her showroom. And what a mix she had! Teresa and Chelsea Tyler, wife and daughter of Steven Tyler, Veruschka and Joy Rose, the lead singer of the band Housewives on Prozac, along with her yoga instructor and assorted transvestites. But the real surprise was the fact that Johnson let everyone dress themselves. The result: anything goes, with distinctive combinations of such pieces as floral slipdresses, peasant girl tops, embroidered skirts, pajama pants with embroidered hems and sheer lingerie looks. “I don’t feel fashion shows should be such a wipeout, financially, emotionally and physically,” said the designer, when asked why she gave up formal presentations. As for Johnson’s alternative, Teresa Tyler may have summed it up best. “It was like a dorm party, it was so much fun.”

Burberry: By now, everyone knows that there’s more to Burberry than the classic trench — especially since the advent of the Prorsum line designed by Roberto Menichetti. But last week at an informal breakfast presentation of their women’s spring collection, which is more traditional than Prorsum, even the company’s beloved classics got a fresh spin. Not surprisingly, outerwear made a strong showing. A white-coated cotton poncho and a slim trenchcoat in the company’s traditional plaid looked particularly fresh, as did the sporty cotton and cashmere knits.

Alberta Ferretti Tech: Doing dainty romantic clothes isn’t enough for Alberta Ferretti. For spring, the designer has introduced a new Tech line. Prices are 30 percent lower than those of her signature collection, and it’s chockfull of fun sportswear pieces, done up in such technical fabrics as cotton with elastin or nylon gabardine for a creaseless effect. The best looks include capris, shorts or A-line skirts paired with sexy knit tops with lace-up detailing.

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