Richard Chai

 

Last season's show was filled with dresses worn over pants. So it's interesting that he carried over that layering idea into his spring collection considering that so few women seemed to buy into that for fall. But there was plenty to covet, such as his silky wide legged palazzo pants (just try to imagine them without the cotton mini skirts awkwardly worn on top) and vibrantly printed tops and jackets in navy, yellow, melon, wine and jade. It all had a relaxed, unaffected urban edge to it that New York fashion has come to be known for. The very cool soundtrack, which featured Little Dragon's unmistakable vocals, drove the point home.

 

 

 

 

BCBG MaxAzria

Judging by the first day of shows, bold, saturated brights are emerging as an early trend for spring Œ12 and Max and Lubov Azria's collection was full of them in the form of sporty, color-blocked dresses. Each one was long (below the knee to ankle length), easy to wear and fluid -- all the better to graze the body in that trademark Azria way when the wind blows. Later in the show, the color blocking gave way to bright ethnic prints and crafty knits. It all made for a much more urban looking collection than we're used to seeing from the brand, which often brings to mind young Hollywood celebrity types.

Cushnie et Ochs

Sexy little white, curve hugging dresses dominated this show, which was a high point of the first day of New York Fashion Week. The dresses were vampy, lean and mean with their pointy tipped, cleavage baring bustiers and flesh-revealing cutouts, but never slutty. Later, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs added color to the mix with equally sleek and polished dresses in hot pink, neon yellow, beige and black.

Wes Gordon

The problem with pretty, feminine dressing is that it can often read boring (see the complaints some fashion designers and editors make about Kate Middleton.) Gordon solved that problem with chic dresses and separates in fresh color combinations and silhouettes that looked cool, rather than conservative. It was the details that made the difference such as how a pale yellow belt gave some whimsy to a sharp python jacket or how the exaggerated wide legs on an etched lace wide-leg jumpsuit were inches broader than anything your mother would ever wear. The excitement over the clothes in the room was palpable. This was a collection that put Gordon firmly in One To Watch territory.

Songs of the day

What was playing on the runway

Cushnie et Ochs gets the prize for the most bumping soundtrack. We list the songs that are still stuck in our heads.

Cushnie et Ochs: "Juicy," Notorious B.I.G.

Richard Chai Love: "Ritual Union," Little Dragon

Wes Gordon: "Average Fruit," Quadron

Wear it/Skip it

Skip it: Skirts over pants. Tight skirt over roomy, wide pants=a quick and easy way to look ten pounds heavier. No thanks.

Wear it: Cropped over long. Wes Gordon's short guipure lace bolero and super long wide-leg trousers are a win-win.

Fashion's Night Out

Overheard: "It looks like trash night out," a shopper balking at all the, well, trash littering the streets after the city's big fashion party.