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New York Fashion Week: Days 7 and 8

Feminine ruffles, frills and gauzy lace softened asymmetrical designs and razor-sharp construction were highlights of Days 7 and 8, the final days of New York Fashion Week.

Feminine ruffles, frills and gauzy lace softened asymmetrical designs
and razor-sharp construction were highlights of Days 7 and 8, the final
days of New York Fashion Week.

Christian Siriano
Time will tell if beloved Project Runway winner Siriano can manipulate his aesthetic (blouses with exaggerated shoulders and stiff, Lagerfeld-like collars) into pleasing and intriguing garments. Without a themed challenge or the foil of less skilled competitors, Siriano's simple frocks and separates risk looking bland. —Maisie Wilhelm


Rebecca Taylor
Delicate ruffled blouses with metallic polka dots or chiffon rosettes on breezy sleeves weren't overly saccharine when tempered with skinny leopard print jeans, studded long-sleeved shirts or roomy, pleated houndstooth trousers. Taylor's aesthetic reads studious eccentric ingenue — perfect for mixing with your existing wardrobe. —Maisie Wilhelm

Catherine Malandrino
Despite her fascination with America, Catherine Malandrino couldn't deny the innate sex in her French roots. Feminine ruched pencil skirts and dresses were draped in black tulle; knit dresses became sophisticated with elegant fishnet sleeves. Appliqués of gloved hands were literal but suggestively wrapped around the body. —Maisie Wilhelm


Isaac Mizrahi
Yes, his handbag hats looked kind of cheesy, but the rest of Mizrahi’s show, which he called Smile, featured somewhat younger, quirkier and more urban-looking work than the more conservative collections he’s shown in past seasons. The change was a good thing, from his use of clashing primary colours in plaid shirts, skirts and dresses to a series of easy, floor-sweeping sequined gowns with exposed bandeaus. Upbeat music from a live jazz band put the dot on the exclamation point that was his optimistic show. —Kenya Hunt


Kai Kühne
The pacing of the show may have felt a little slow, but at least it gave everyone a chance to really appreciate every detail of Kühne’s painstakingly precise, razor sharp tailoring (you could practically draw blood with the darts on his body-hugging dresses and pencil skirts). A neutral colour palette featuring black, white and gray further complemented his impressive construction. —Kenya Hunt

Calvin Klein
Opening his show with a black asymmetrical coat with an uneven hemline, Francisco Costa’s collection reiterated the fact that fall '09 will be the season of great outerwear. The asymmetrical design details on his coats and jackets (sometimes in innovative, textured fabrics) were standouts in a show that included black, slinky dresses and suits that clung to the body in a way that were sexy, yet austere and covered up. —Kenya Hunt

Ralph Lauren Collection
Lauren gets cool points for having one of the more diverse casts of the week’s marquee shows. The clothes, meanwhile, were beautiful in his trademark, classic American way. His legions of loyalists will love his tweed and patchwork coats. Other bright moments included a series of pretty, pale, shimmery gowns that seemed to provide a silver lining to the fashion world’s dark retail cloud. —Kenya Hunt