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So would Karan’s trim blazers _ many with peplums on the back _ and tapered trousers that she hoped would straddle precision and effortlessness.


Zac Posen pumped his arm in the air as he took his bow to mark his return to the main stage of New York Fashion Week.

Posen had been the toast of the town for several seasons, lining his front row with top-tier celebrities, staging elaborate musical performances and turning out photogenic, theatrical clothes _ clothes that very few people would have to occasion to wear, by the way.

He recently switched gears, doing more intimate shows of more practical daytime clothes away from the tents. And then he announced that he was moving his collection catwalk to Paris.

Still, there was his contemporary Z Spoke collection to show, and he did his preview with the swagger that he had before.

Z Spoke doesn’t have the craftsmanship or drama of his signature label, but the fruit salad-inspired styles _ really, T-shirts with apples and pineapples, among them _ were colorful, cheerful and trendy, and would look appealing on retailers’ racks.


Carmen Marc Valvo has always stuck by his ladies _ those who are more country clubbers than nightclubbers, and more comfortable in beads and tulle than bra tops and studs.

He did good by them again as models paraded in lovely outfits befitting their lifestyle.

This consistency is what his customer craves. While he rarely breaks new ground, he doesn’t fall into a lull of tired looks. Valvo certainly played into the sheerness trend that’s been all over this round of spring previews, and he paid proper attention to the back, which also matches what’s going on in other collections.

But he didn’t play into the clean ease that many designers have used as their starting point this season. Instead, Valvo said he found inspiration in gardenias and black iris and a woman’s “hopes of the sun-kissed days of Camelot.”


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