- Associated Press - Saturday, September 10, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Bursts of sunny, sultry citrus and sexy violet met up with muted sea tones on runways filled with flowers, both literal and reinvented, at New York Fashion Week’s spring previews as Day 3 kicked in Saturday.

Color is everywhere this time around, combined with plenty of flounce and peekaboo sheers.

“The violet color is very enticing and will be a must-have color for spring,” said Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine.

Jill Stuart’s easy femininity came in soft, sherbet tones and comfy, resort-friendly shapes reminiscent of the early 1960s _ with palm trees thrown in. The relaxed wear was inspired by a book on lingerie she found in Copenhagen.

Prabal Gurung’s futuristic flora was dominated by soft purples, full skirts and pants cut tight. Where there are flowers, there are birds. Look to Adam’s runway for the winged motif in light pinks, purples and whites.

Happy color, color everywhere. Pantone had a beach party in mind when the color company named the Top 10 shades for women next spring: tangerine tango, solar power, sodalite blue, bellflower, margarita, cabaret, driftwood, sweet lilac, cockatoo (think sea foamy) and starfish.

Barely there is khaki and other brooding colors. Even the blacks were upbeat _ though the music wasn’t _ in Helmet Lang’s black-and-white show splashed with only yellow.

Flashes of neon peeked out from under sheer, optical white in Alexander Wang’s spring collection. He opened with a tangerine hue and closed with the bright purple that seems like a must-have.

There was nothing understated about Cynthia Rowley’s color muse. Her mirrored runway was about the “optical exuberance of gold” combined with “flash mobs of florals and animated shapes,” according to her notes.

After eight days of spring previews in New York, the big show moves to London, then Milan and Paris.


Key for Stuart: “I wanted this collection to be a dream, a fantasy.”

It came against a backdrop of mint green, lipstick pink, tangerine and a brighter shade of citrine gemstone yellow.

Stuart has significantly softened her look in recent seasons, moving away from the Stevie Nicks rocker look that had been her hallmark. The clothes on this runway seemed more appropriate for the next-generation Doris Day.

But there was something sweetly sexy in the drop-waist shifts, culottes and inverted-pleat skirts, too. Even the romper, which looked more like a cute mini shift until you got close to it, worked here. While girlie, they weren’t prim or dowdy, which is surely important to Stuart’s typically young customer _ someone like Emma Roberts, who sat in the front row.

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