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RICHARD CHAI

Richard Chai turned menswear into powerful looks for women with top coats, tweed jackets and pinstripe pants for female customers of his Love brand, and he retooled trousers in his men’s clothes to be slimmer and shorter than most guys are used to. Some of the best pieces were stadium and duffel coats, appealing to all sorts of customers.

The women looked put together in their mostly gray-and-black blazers and button-down shirts. There were flashes of femininity as Chai also offered some sheer layers and some pieces in pretty red floral print, a contrast to all the tailoring.

TADASHI SHOJI

Tadashi Shoji sent a parade of gowns down the catwalk. Nothing overly complicated or particularly edgy, but glamorous with a hint of sexy. A flame-red washed velvet gown had a dramatic cowl back filled with black beading, and ballgown with a gold-and-black beaded lace bodice had the full Cinderella treatment for its skirt. The green blouson-top gown with mermaid hemline that opened the show was tailor-made for a bombshell.

For more of a delicate look, there was a green lace tiered dress with a handkerchief hem, while the trick of putting sheer black lace over gold fitted linings had a more sultry effect.

CYNTHIA ROWLEY

Cynthia Rowley says her fall collection was inspired by “mechanics, cobblers and leathermen. Welding, oil slicks. Women artists making big, strong work.” Showing her own craftsman skills, Rowley somehow turned that into a lovely blouson dress in a blue-flame print, a soft buttery leather shift, and a tweed denim shirtdress. She paired skinny pants covered in a tortoise-shell print with a leather jacket and a jersey jumper with mixed print sleeves.

There were a few gimmicks, including jewel-encrusted coveralls, which was more jumpsuit than uniform, but still perhaps a little too literal. The jeweled collars, however, which created a turtleneck effect, seem like something that could really catch on.

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Samantha Critchell tweets fashion at http://twitter.com/ap_fashion