Continued from page 3

For her spring ready-to-wear collection, she wanted to bring the riches of her fancier clothes into her more casual ones, and she’s done it with prints: A vintage jewel print, for example, on a silk sheath dress. Or a mineral print. Or a kaleidoscope print.

“It’s all about the prints this year,” she said backstage.

The show began with an oxidized animal print on a one-shoulder dress _ something Wilma Flintstone might have worn if she had a superb tailor. It went on to mineral prints, such as one on a silk charmeuse sheath with a jeweled side clasp. And a kaleidoscope design on a pencil skirt.

This being Reem Acra, materials were sumptuous.


Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka wanted the collection to move with each step the models took. They wanted them to convey lightness without being frothy. They wanted saturated color without being overly bright.

Customers ask a lot of their clothes nowadays, so it’s just precautionary for designers to do that too, Mischka said. “We try to talk to our customers and take their temperature all the time,” he said.

What do they want?

Perhaps a floral brocade dress with a peplum and crystal clips at the waist? This shopper likes her glitz. Or maybe the sleek yellow leather strapless or the light and airy lemon-chiffon organza and tulle dress?

Some of the best looks, though, seemed slightly less conventional: a lingerie-style romper in blush crepe paired with sheer, full-leg lace pants.


Cornejo knows her clients: Many are working women. They’re not at the beach all summer long.

So for her spring/summer line at Zero + Maria Cornejo, the designer went for “fresh and summery but not beachy,” she said backstage.

“These women work, they have jobs,” she said. “They may be lawyers, like Michelle Obama. Or actresses, like Tilda Swinton.” (Both have worn Cornejo designs.) “Or many other things. They may not have to wear a suit, but they need something that’s not for the beach. Something more structured, more urban.”

Cornejo’s colors certainly had the feel of summer heat: lots of bright yellows and shades of orange to reflect the sun, and blues to reflect the sky. But some of the nicest designs were of a pure, bright white.

Story Continues →