NEW YORK — While the first weekend of the American collections was relatively quiet, a handful of designers introduced some noteworthy looks. Themes touched on gothic Victoriana, the Eighties and even some quirky accessories.

For her second show, Jennifer Nordanger of Jen.Bel presented a solid and dramatic collection of Victorian dresses, blouses and pants. Working with a palette of mostly black, Nordanger’s detailing was exquisite — beaded lace edging, laced ribbons on jeans and hook-and-eye closures all the way down a jacket or long skirt. Her poppy-printed satin organza skirts and tops were beautiful in lilac and olive and while it’s not the most original idea, her black peasant blouse was spectacular.

Though this collection was not his best, Tawfik Mounayer continues to evolve, demonstrating that he’s capable of going beyond the slouchy Eighties looks he’s shown in the past. There were still retro references, but the clothes were more sophisticated and wearable. The strongest pieces were the flowing ankle-length circle skirts paired with belted tops. But while Mounayer is known as a skilled knitter, the gray crocheted squares on dresses, tops and skirts seemed more dowdy than daring.

Six months ago Diego Binetti was working on the I Belong to QT7 line he co-founded with two partners. But when the partnership went bust, Diego started another collection, Binetti, now in its second season. While his textile background at Jill Stuart and Bulgari helped him mix unexpected fabrics in fresh ways, he went a bit trim crazy and the result was a few too-theatrical pieces. But what did work were his tops, especially the fabulous red gingham and white blouses with lace details.

Showing for the first time in New York, Haasprojekt is a San Francisco collective headed by founder Brent Hass, who’s “intent on upping the standards of modern luxury and design.” With a similar design philosophy to New York-based group ORFI, Haasprojekt does not limit their ideas to just one medium — they’re already known for their home, electronic and beauty products. In fact, the vial for their Scent 001 perfume won ID magazine’s annual design award and is part of the San Francisco Museum of Art’s permanent collection. It is currently on loan for an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum. This season, the team unveiled a new line of accessories mainly created to keep body parts warm — i.e. legwarmers, shrugs and hoods. They also debuted a travel-sized version of Scent 001. During the presentation at the Totem Gallery, viewers were encouraged to try on the accessories, which hung from the ceiling by wire, as well as to interact with other products on display.

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