Runways go back to nature at NY Fashion Week

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Azria said the sexiness of the signature dresses comes from the corsetry. When he’s designing them, he thinks of a beautiful woman who “wants to be sexy and classic.”

The clothes were definitely sexy. A nude color sleeveless dress had netting around the neck area and at the hip to reveal skin. A black dress of perforated leather and bands had cutouts. A peach dress played peek-a-boo with mesh. There was also a sweet pink strapless dress with pink and cream lines running down it, and dresses with woven straps that revealed skin.

BILL BLASS

Bill Blass made its return to New York Fashion Week with designer Jeffrey Monteiro at the creative helm, with a small, quiet collection for spring _ pretty but not a lot of flash.

That might be an intentional move, considering there have been several high-profile attempts _ and flameouts _ at returning the house to its place on the designer floors of department stores since Blass left the company in 1999 and, in 2002, died.

Monteiro said that color and texture were already on his mind when he found a photography book from the 1970s about South African tribal culture. It’s from there that he added a raffia dress and a red-based striped tribal gown.

“I’d like to think I bring a youthfulness and a lightness to the collection. Mr. Blass did that, too, but I bring my spirit and my eye to it,” Monteiro said.

3.1 PHILLIP LIM

The atmosphere at the 3.1 Phillip Lim show was austere and dark, but the clothes were demure and feminine.

Large white abstract sculptures were laid out on the huge wooden floor that the models walked on. In his show notes Lim quoted singer Charlotte Gainsbourg: “She walks crooked and paints her eyelids blue … dandie-lion, I wanna go there too.”

And there were blues but also black, tan, nude, taupe and some copper. Some fabrics were very languid and there was lots of layering. Some skirts looked like they had panels on them.

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AP writers Lisa Orkin and Leanne Italie contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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