Nostalgic '80s throwbacks, wearability and recessionista-friendly free
food and drink all shared the limelight on Day 4 of New York Fashion





Marc Jacobs
It looks like Jacobs’ nostalgic Stephen Sprouse retrospective for Louis Vuitton was an indication of things to come. He put the “F” back in a creatively spotty New York Fashion Week with a glam, fantastically colourful collection rooted in the '80s. (Sigh, that was back when New York was really the artistic hotbed of the world, if you ask a lot of old school artists and club kids.) His use of colour (think electric blues, hot pink, neon yellow, and fire engine red) and playful silhouettes (larger than large shoulders) gives a proverbial middle finger to the recession. But the big question: Who's going to wear it? It's not exactly his most wearable, or "sellable" work. But maybe that's the point.

Thakoon, who has a knack for reworking classic ideas in a smart and innovative way, took the idea of sophistication to a new level. Classic silhouettes and hemlines would satisfy any office dress code, while cutting edge details such as the most subtle sheer cut-outs on a dress and jacket or the feathered front and back panels on a skirt give the garments serious fashion cred. —Kenya Hunt

Carolina Herrera
"Subdued entrance" was the mantra. Conservative yet glitzy, staid fabrics were worked in romantic ways, with a shoulder revealed here and there but still feeling buttoned-up. Ivy, plum and grey high-necked blouses, voluminous shoulders and prim evening wear will be perfect for the upper crust. —Maisie Wilhelm

Zero + Maria Cornejo
Cornejo entered the national spotlight when Michelle Obama began wearing her clothes. But it's the just-throw-it-on ease of the designer's fall '09 work that will appeal to everyday women. Standouts among her "urban androgynous" pieces included a shearling hoodie or single seam pant paired with a mohair jacket. —Kenya Hunt

Betsey Johnson
She may have ditched the runway, but Johnson's presentation still ended up being the party of the week as editors crammed into her garment district work-studio-turned-diner to sip on Prosecco and eat hot dogs, burgers and Twizzlers. (Who can turn down free food and booze at a time like this?) Fortunately, the eats didn't outshine the clothes, a cheeky mix of big skirts, loud sweaters and bodysuits in cheeky prints. —Kenya Hunt

Tracy Reese
Pretty pairings of feminine blouses and tailored trousers were bright spots in Reese's romantic fall collection. Meanwhile, her version of the tuxedo jacket could be a recession-friendly hit for women looking to invest in a timeless item. —Kenya Hunt

Spotted front row:

Paris and Nicky Hilton at Tracy Reese.

French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld and V Magazine fashion director Cecilia Dean at Marc Jacobs.