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Fashion Week: Designers defy matchy-matchy wisdom for the mix


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She was all smiles as she did her lap of the runway after her parade of flirty, colorful looks.

Karan wasn’t afraid to pay homage to the late 1980s when this brand — geared toward a younger woman with a smaller paycheck than her signature collection — was launched. The soundtrack was courtesy of the Beastie Boys, Run DMC and Aerosmith, and the backdrop was done in graffiti, reminiscent of New York’s grittier time.

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"We celebrated the city of life," she said. "It happens in New York City. They’re clothes that last forever. They’re clothes that have been inspired from nylons to lifestyle to yoga to bathing suits."

Diane Von Furstenberg

After four days of runway shows, it takes something special to get the fashion week crowd excited, and apparently Naomi Campbell is it.

Campbell, regarded by fashion insiders as queen of the catwalk, got the often jaded crowd cheering when she wore the finale look: a black, gold and white knit macrame sleeveless shift dress.

It fit into von Furstenberg’s broader theme of "oasis," which also inspired some retro glam tunic-and-pants sets, ombre prints and a safari animal T-shirt dress worn by a model and von Furstenberg herself when she took her bow.

"What I wanted to do was create in this world that’s a little terrifying and scary, I wanted to create an oasis of peace, of beauty, of color and of harmony," she said.


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Monique Lhuillier

Does Monique Lhuillier have perfect timing or what? Fashion Week hits right before the Emmy Awards — and then again in February right before the Oscars. Hollywood surely is her bread and butter.

The looks on her runway were lovely, and she clearly catered to her celebrity crowd with many gowns and cocktail looks. But her own wardrobe was a factor, she said. "I always look at women that I know and myself, and I’m like, ‘What do I want to wear next?’ I always tell myself I want to have to want to wear these clothes because if I don’t, then women won’t."

Gone were big ballgowns or super-slim sheaths. Do we miss them? Not really.

Cynthia Rowley

Cynthia Rowley was true to, well, Cynthia Rowley with fun and funky dresses and two-piece sets featuring thick embroidery.

A full, long skirt in rose was paired with the embroidery in yellow, one of the standouts at a presentation she turned into a Mexican fiesta in a cavernous hotel space that was once part of a seminary.

A short-sleeve dress in white with thin horizontal stripes had fans of blue embroidery at the chest and floppy, poppy red flower applique at the shoulders.

"For me, this season, I just wanted to be true to myself and my brand. It’s sporty, it’s pretty, it’s a little sexy, a little bit colorful, but also experimenting with a lot of new techniques," she said.

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