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David Cardona: Doing double duty for Cerruti as well as his own line, David Cardona opted for a calmer, by-appointment showroom presentation with two models. Good thing, as he had only been here half a day since flying in from Milan. While Cardona typically does tough, Matrix-like looks, he kept things light and sporty for spring, and even ventured into denim for the first time. But his wasn’t basic jeans. He worked the softest black denim twills into suits and shirtdresses with the same overstitched oval or curved panels he used throughout the 70-piece collection. Elsewhere, he played feminine against masculine elements, like a corset engineered into a man’s white shirt or a short-sleeved sweater. Overall, the tailored edge he likes was still there, but significantly softer.

This story first appeared in the November 5, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Sheri Bodell: Sheri Bodell clearly caught the flou that went around New York and Europe. Her spring effort was full of flirty, feminine dresses and skirts with such girly details as pastel appliqués and ribbon details. Her chiffons were petal-light and the pin-tucked trousers ultraslim. Coquettes and flirts will certainly find something to flit about town in come spring.

Sue Wong: Like a costume designer for a multigenerational soap opera, Sue Wong showed 90 looks that pranced liberally through the decades. She tackled the neon Eighties and Mod Sixties with collage-like dresses covered in paillettes, beads, ruching and studs. From there, she journeyed on with flamenco ruffles and Seventies handkerchief hems before at last settling with Belle Epoque sleeve details and Twenties-style fringes. This is where Wong hit her stride, especially with the intricate drop-waisted flapper frocks and cap-sleeved long gowns. Throughout, she topped everything with enormous headdresses — a disco ball crown, a Mondrian tower or a mountain of stalagmites. There’s no doubt that Wong works hard to provide range and excitement to her line, but her attempt to fill each passing trend seemed too chaotic.

Maggie Barry: Maggie Barry stirred two parts Ziggy Stardust with one part Blondie and came up with an electric spin on cotton jersey dresses. Studs, glitter and grommets kicked leather details up a notch, and it was all put together with shoulder-dusting earrings — worn on one ear, of course — and Day-Glo pumps. Sexy white or black short-suits recalled Debbie Harry’s “Rapture” days, while pasted-on vinyl lightning rods crossed the models’ faces.

Holmes: Rock and fashion; fashion and rock. The two are nearly synonymous in L.A., so it’s no surprise that Susan Holmes, a former model who married ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Duff McKagan, started her own swimwear line. A solid one, at that, seeing as she sells at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and through Victoria’s Secret’s swim catalogue. For spring, she went from bohemian beaded palm-print suits to all-out rocker chic such as a tartan bikini top with a bitsy skirt or another rainbow-trimmed suit inspired by boys’ tighty whities. Less wearable, perhaps, but still really interesting, was a bikini made entirely of guitar picks. The music, of course, came courtesy of McKagan’s new band, Velvet Revolver.

Tree: Sometimes the fashion alarms go off when the word “hippie” is mentioned. If not handled properly, hazards could include baggy cuts, muted colors and rough materials. Thankfully, Theresa McAllen and Beverly Klein kept their Tree collection flirty, fitted and full of saturated colors, albeit herbal tea-inspired ones like hibiscus pink and chamomile yellow. Although the line was far too long, the motifs of scribble-like floral embroidery and cotton eyelets — on dresses, tanks and skirts — will surely offer a sweet, feminine, bohemian look for spring.

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