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Instead, editors, retailers and stylists were invited to his downtown studio for individual appointments to see some no-frill clothes _ clothes that women will be likely to buy and wear.

That was the thing about Posen’s grandest moments _ thinking of the tornado and wheat gowns, for example: They made beautiful photos, but who could pull them off anywhere but the catwalk?

But slim-cut stretch jersey dresses in navy, black and a dusty rose with Posen’s flattering technique of piecing together fabric are the sort of things that can be worn over and over again.

Loose-weave, oversized cardigans can top dresses that are office-appropriate from the front, yet have fully open backs to add spice later in the day.

There are also the more consumer-friendly prices, with dresses that would retail in the $450 range and handbags starting at $200.

NICOLE MILLER

Nicole Miller relies for fall on a sophisticated edge using digital prints, diagonal stripes and asymmetrical necklines.

The collection was heavy on blacks and greys with splashes of red, blue and white.

Miller showed several looks with a belt over a coat or vest. She also combined cashmere and leather to create sweaters and tunics. Some pants had leather patches at the knees.

Angles over curves had a menswear influence, according to the show’s notes. “Pants, slouchy or slim, are a new focal point.”

Liz Rodbell, Lord & Taylor’s executive vice president of merchandising, said the department store sees Miller’s customer as a chic, metropolitan woman.

“We look at her line, it really expresses a lot of color for us and helps determine where the business is going,” Rodbell said.

CYNTHIA ROWLEY

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