Here, our complete, final critical rundown of the New York spring/summer 2008 collections, from NY Fashion Week.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 12

TOMMY HILFIGER

Finding, as ever, its roots in classic American design archetypes, the spring/summer 2008 collection from Tommy Hilfiger – which closed NYFW this season – was about what Hilfiger himself called “a celebration of this country’s golden age of American iconic glamour.” Key staples such as the trench coat, shift dress, the navy blazer and the feminine blouse were prominent, albeit reworked with an unusually contemporary spin – tweaked here and there to make pieces tighter, cooler, edgier somehow – while fabrics were typically luxurious in silk, jersey, crepe and chiffon. Though the collection is characteristically appealing to a more mature consumer – this time around Lauren Hutton was cited as an influence – you got the feeling many a young-gun could happily rock the high-waist sailor pants say, or the flirty summer dresses where the cuts were refreshingly sexy; and for men, the slimmer, cleaner cut of the jackets and trousers are a big pull for a younger demographic.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 11

MARC BY MARC JACOBS

After the mammoth production of the night before, Jacobs played it short and sweet this time around, with a comparatively low-key show. Though the collection nodded to “big Marc” with its patchwork of fabrications and asymmetrical seams, the bulk was more in keeping with the linear nature of last season's main line and thoroughly retro, right down to the Lego brooches. Elements of the '50s, '60s and '70s were all present here, from the full hoop-skirt dresses, to the geometric prints and pussy-bow shirts Jacobs had pared all this down to make for a typically wearable, accessible – and of course saleable – collection, topped only by the gorgeously more-ish clutches that were all over vintage grandma-bag.

CUSTO BARCELONA

Custo Barcelona's glittery, '70s-themed collection of slinky, one-shoulder dresses had a familiar air to it while putting the spotlight on sexy evening wear, a rarity amongst the New York collections. What was new, however, was a keener sense of structure: a tone-on-tone polka dot blue dress with a straight cut and contrasting lapel cinched at the waist was notably restrained as was a Sgt. Pepper-styled perforated princess line coat-dress. In one outfit that recalled St. Laurent's smoking silhouettes, a satiny shirt with slightly peaked shoulders was paired with a high-waisted trouser; in another black-and-white ensembled the designer paired a space-dyed like printed cropped jacket with a mottled print knickbocker. In contrast, menswear took a conservative twist, with lithograph-like printed suits and one fine jigsaw printed one-button suit in elegant black.

CALVIN KLEIN

In keeping with the dna of the brand, Francisco Costa's brilliant, ethereal collection had none of the trappings of minimalism's often hard alter ego. In chalky whites, flint and doeskin nude, Costa's long dresses were more supple than in previous seasons. More to the point, this was a collection about proportions and precision: cap sleeves that finished at the right height, high-waisted pants that draped naturally in between a straight cut or a flare, the subtle droop in the shoulders. Costa is by all accounts an intellectual designer concerned with lines and idea of modern femininity. This season he showed both through a simple curved seam in the back to silk drap bias cut halter dresses that were, at best, heavenly.

BETSEY JOHNSON

After being somewhat restrained in recent seasons, Johnson went wild with the tulle, crinolines, sparkles and very feminine colors for spring with a prom-themed show that literally spanned the decades from the 1950s to the present. (The collection was grouped by decade and the background music changed along with the chronology.) In an era when so much style is recycled, it sounded like a good idea. However, many of Johnson’s over-the-top enormous-skirted dresses — included opening 1950s ones and the striped red, white and blue “Miss America” hoop skirt that closed the show and looked liked something out of a Mississippi Fourth of July parade — came off as more costume-y than wearable. However, there were also some winning pieces among the Little Bo Peep look-alikes, including a short silk abstract print dress, several adorable playsuits and a sporty blue nautical shortsuit with a white lace front and accents.

HEATHERETTE

The check-in line (as usual) ran around the block as people on the overextended (as usual) guest list attempted to get into the semi-annual fashion circus otherwise known as the Heatherette show. It opened with a series of embellished and reworked (as usual) white short dresses — a short white dress is clearly spring’s must-have — and segued into club-friendly USA flag—print numbers and camo and lace combos that are perfect for… nightclubs at 4am. The pleasurable and high-energy (as usual) spectacle was (as usual) more really fun entertainment than actual fashion substance/direction. And although hype clearly comes before handiwork at this label, the show was (as usual) really guilty fun. That said, bravo to designers Richie Rich and Traver Rains for what we think (and hope) was a much-needed political fashion statement. The camo-meets-lace numbers and crystal-embellished STOP-sign tee appeared to be — unless we are reading into this far too deeply — perfect style responses to the war in Iraq, and all the more appropriate for a show presented on the sixth anniversary of 9/11.

2(X)IST

All things considered, 2(x)ist underwear looks sexy, comfortable and even has some clever color combos and shapes. But, despite this show’s beefy male models, an aerial appearance by Carmen Electra in a corset with two other aerial artists, and some nice new green skirt-like cover-ups for women, the question still nagged: Why bother showing it on the catwalk, other than to provide NY with a free “Chippendales” show?

JUST SWEET

Directional? Absolutely not. Earth-changing? Ditto. Nonetheless, Jennifer Lopez showed a really wearable and attractive collection on Tuesday night in an arty Chelsea space. Amongst Alice-in-Wonderland—like cardboard scenery, her models wore mostly ‘70s-style looks, including lots of colored denim options. For what it is — and considering its customer, most importantly – well-done, Jen.

MONDAY, SEPT. 10

MARC JACOBS

As is tradition with Our Marc, the show started way over call time (at precisely 11.00pm, a full two hours late) and when the lights did finally dim on the crowds and shine on the runway, things took a surreal turn. While on set was a large digital clock ticking backwards, Jacobs himself surprised the throngs by coming on to take his post-show bow before the model’s customary finale walk followed by look 56 all the way to the first. Or is that the last? The collection was equally unexpected, showing a move into the conceptual side of design that the Jacobs has not explored for many seasons past. It was a welcome and refreshing change, particularly in the midst of a typically play-safe New York. Formal slinky, gothic-led cloaks and gowns in black lace and satin were interjected with multi-colored floral print dresses that invoked a child playing dress-up, while the sportswear that followed – in a muted pallete of pink and purple hues - worked surprisingly well. Here, asymmetric lines, miss-matched seams and cut-out sections were a theme throughout, with sheer panels revealing the midriff or a large slice of thigh, pin-draped tops and long silken skirts that were reminiscent of last seasons collections from both Rae Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons and Mr Conceptual himself, Martin Margiela.

HELMUT LANG

Michael and Nicole Colovos, creative directors of this recently relaunched brand, offered a collection that was true to the label’s reputation by showing a collection of dresses and separates that were marked by clean simplicity and flair for the (mostly subdued) monochromatic. While it looked good — albeit somewhat familiar – on the catwalk, it’s also clear that the collection’s characteristic use of cutting-edge materials is something that’s better appreciated tangibly on the hanger — or, better yet, with a try-on — than on the runway. Although several editors may not have been blown away on Monday, we suspect that many customers will be, once they get up close and personal with these clothes.

JOHN VARVATOS

Another NY-based designer pushing a mostly monochromatic palette (in this case, shades of gray) for spring, Varvatos presented another impeccably tailored collection that mixed classic men’s suiting looks with touches of bohemia (think linen-like carves tied around the waist or neck) and the occasional nod to rock ’n’ roll. The collection looked great and will probably sell very well, but the show this season lacked those occasional exciting jolts of tuned-in cool and youth that have punctuated his previous presentations. But even when Varvatos plays it a bit too safe, as we think he did this season, there’s no denying that his customer will still look better than 99% of the other men out there.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 9

TIM HAMILTON

Another brand with much buzz, Tim Hamilton (pictured above) showed an edgier side to its sporty, preppy foundation for spring. Color-red, blue, black and gray-stood out, while there was also a play on proportions, from an elongated caban to shorts to drop-crotch leggings. But perhaps the most intriguing element of the collection was the designer's choice of fabrications as in a patented windbreaker to a vest with foil pockets and a generously piled sweater in snow white. Shorts were also cuffed and above the knee and often enough paired with patent leather shoes worn without socks.

UNIS

At a packed installation at Lafayette House designer Eunice Lee explained she took her inspiration for spring from an obscure photo of President Ford's office. That translated into rusty browns and azures on easily wearable checked, short-sleeve shirts to trousers just grazing the ankle for a "nerdy, rock 'n' roll" vibe. Although the brand continues to eschew thematic collections, there are plenty of alternatives of three-piece suits and macs that make this brand, already with a cult following, one to watch.

PATRIK ERVELL

Insiders have long known of Ervell's talent and precision as a designer. For spring Ervell's outerwear, from buoyant rainslickers to anoraks in canary yellow and tonal white, to pleated cigarette pants cropped above the ankle, were flawless. But perhaps what impressed more than anything else was Ervell's unabashed use of glen plaid and tweedy fabrications on sporty silhouettes. In doing so, Ervell showed pieces that could have worked on just about any customer and for that sole reason quite possibly produced an almost perfect collection.

H FREDRIKSSON

Fans of Helena Fredriksson have long admired her line for her floaty silk dresses, black stenciled prints and evening femininity. This season Fredriksson didn't stray but reined in her proportions and switched up her palette, with cropped jackets to a snappy cream windowpane linen and metallic cotton wedge dress and a stunning black and coal paneled silk charmeuse long dress.

DEVELOPMENT BY ERICA DAVIES

Davies showed both her Development by Erica Davies line and her eponymous collection in a show that featured 54 mostly attractive and feminine contemporary looks. Like many of her fellow designers this season, her palette was mostly neutral, livened up with bright color pops of fuchsia and royal blue. While her so-called “double-layer” and Aztec print dresses didn’t always hit the mark, many of her separates did, including a waxed stone-colored trench, clever waxed cotton casual motopants and a lovely pair of cream short boy shorts worn with a royal blue silk drop-shoulder blouse.

3.1 PHILLIP LIM

If there is any doubt that Phillip Lim richly deserves the praise and awards he has been gathering lately, he certainly put that to rest with his beautiful Sunday afternoon presentation at the NY Public Library. Using his signature clean, classic silhouettes, his 43 women’s and men’s looks came out one by one on a spiral, elevated catwalk and slowly formed a breathtaking tableau that exuded modern, young elegance. His dresses and sportswear had influences from all over the world — hence his “Passport” theme. Lim too, focused on neutrals and metallics, with dramatic flourishes of bright yellow, red and navy. The large necklaces worn with many of his lovely women’s looks added to their beauty, especially on our favorite one: a simple but statement-making violet boyfriend tuxedo jacket worn over a baby blue georgette safari shift dress.

NICHOLAI

Wary of most celebrity-designed clothing lines, we went to the Nicholai show with low expectations but left somewhat pleasantly surprised by Nicky Hilton’s collection of mostly jeweled-back, jewelled-strapped and jewelled-collared cocktail dresses. While none of her creations were earth-shattering stylewise, Ms. Hilton did avoid, for the most part, over-embellishment and showy Miami- or Vegas-style “chic.” And although it may be faint praise, of the two sisters, she’s clearly the more talented one.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 8

Y-3

Shown under the Highline railway and set against a theatrical backdrop of a midsummer rainstorm, Y-3 opened on a more somber note with long overcoats that fell between a boxing robe and a bathrobe, gathered at the waist in the back. In contrast to previous seasons, this was a far more introspective and intellectual collection: at the risk of making the collection look too much like his own signature work, Yamamoto lost the sport brand's trademark stripes and opted for more tailored treatments with mixed results. A fringed dress with a handkerchief hem with an empire waistline was hard to make sense of and, as one editor said, looked like a tablecloth. Girls wore intriguing shoulder sheaths with a liquid crème effect. If color was a story (think jade green, fiery red, azure sky), it risked overshadowing Yamamoto's workmanship. More convincing were sleeveless anoraks with toggles and jeans worn with the waistbands pulled inside out to reveal Adidas stripes. It also needs to be said that one of the highlights of the show were sporty gym bags and starry necklaces and keychains that gave the brand back its street currency.

LACOSTE

Celebrating 75 years in the sportswear business, Lacoste opened with an homage to founder Rene Lacoste-a white linen blazer with gray tipped lapels and matching trousers worn with a pimento red Basque belt and classic espadrilles laced up the calf. Overall, designer Christopher Lemaire was smart to not weigh down the presentation in monochromatic, colorful pique polos (that he left to the finale) and instead created a series of snappy washed denim, fitted striped polos that had a field sport vibe and slim chinos with a 1950s feel. On the girls, Lemaire's high-waisted, polka dot shorts and trousers with buckle backs were flirty without being whimsical. His use of white and color-blocking kept the show clean, graphic and aspirational.

ROBERT GELLER

Geller sealed his growing reputation as one of NYC’s best and hippest menswear designers with a collection that married gray, European sobriety (inspired by German artist Joseph Beuys) and the bright colors of the California skate scene. For example, a formal looking gray jacket was paired with neon yellow skinny jeans while an oversized gray suit stood next to a model in a bright pink OCEANSIDE sleeveless sweatshirt and gray washed cadet pants. Note to all those effortlessly stylish Japanese boys: you SO owe Mr. Geller a special thank you next spring.

UNITED BAMBOO

For all of Thuy Pham and Miho Aoki’s nearly 50 looks the design-duo brought little in the way of innovation to the United Bamboo’s Spring Summer offerings. Despite this though the collection is sure to be a hit with retailers, who dig the line’s always well-executed reinterpretation of preppy American classics. This time around, origami folds were an interestingly pretty feature throughout, and on-trend styles evidenced in women’s high-waist skirts and shorts, and a tuxedo shirt. In men’s, safe but saleable seersucker pants were a staple as where boxy zip-up windbreakers and cotton blazers.

THREEASFOUR

Despite the weightiness of their first nomination for a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, with the exotic sounds of Yma Sumac blasting from the speakers, and outfit names like All Over Your Body In Beige Jersey and Puff The Magic Dress listed in the run-of-show, the design trio have clearly not lost their sense of humor, nor indeed a love of the peculiar. In a haze of creams, purples and pinks, the label’s signature asymmetry bore out in jersey tops, pants and day dresses that featured cut-out slices and repeated circle motifs. The downtown NYC designers explored the sophisticated side of the avant-garde in their evening wear, in a flurry of organza and metallic linens, chiffons and lace, all cut to eccentrically sexy proportions and multiple organza rosettes as seen tiered and layered on the hot-pink Firebird Gown, the finale piece that drew deserved whoops from the adoring audience.

ROSA CHA

Amir Slama created a somewhat surreal-inspired collection of swimwear in mostly neutral shades that, for the most part, was more artistic and conceptual than va-va-voom sexy. Usual shapes, cutouts and metallic attachments were certainly unexpected additions but not always successful ones. While the swimwear didn’t always wow, Slama’s short dresses and cover-ups dresses of bright solid panels of green, navy, yellow and white — which brought to mind Alexander Calder’s abstract mobiles — did.

DIESEL

Paperbag waists cinched with enormous side bows, wide slouchy side pockets on dresses, light-wash denim and a palette that went from pale yellow and white to gray, white, black and bright pink were the highlights of Diesel’s presentation called “Squeaky Clean.” With a definite nod to the ’80s, including slouchy jumpsuits, a neon and black abstract print, one-shoulder tops and a men’s all-white white suit worn with a hot pink V-neck that immediately brought to mind “Miami Vice,” the collection wasn’t the brand’s best. However, the hugely oversized wood bracelets worn by some of the models were fabulous.

WARHOL FACTORY X LEVI’S X DAMIEN HIRST

Inspired by both Warhol and Hirst, this new collaborative collection isn’t for everyone — it was heavy on the bondage straps and even featured jeans crystallized all over with Hirst’s famous skull motif (but for crystal jeans, they honestly looked pretty good). Still, there were several outstanding and interesting pieces shown at the Hirst-decorated Gagosian Gallery, including jeans with numerous vertical zippers along the legs a denim moto jumpsuit. Four special-edition Hirst spin art designs ended the show.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 7

GILDED AGE

Entitled "Sea Captains of North East," Stefan Miljanic's installation of rugged, naval-inspired jackets, striped knits and jaunty shorts-in a mix of neutrals and deep sea blues at the historical Merchant House Museum-were a welcome alternative to the clean, nautical looks on the runways, while denim went for a modern vintage look.

OBEDIENT SONS

Back in the day, this line used to be all about rock ‘n’ roll, but its spring 2008 collection proved that designer Swaim Hutson has a new and mature take on his designs. Using a fictional rugby team as his inspiration, he added plenty of sports-inspired elements such as tank tops or jersey sweatshirts and pants emblazoned with KINGSTON MUNITY to his summery and collection of shorts, pants, jackets and full-on suits for men and women in such classic colors as khaki, navy and gray. The collection had a retro preppy feel for sure, and was heavy on the popular “informal formal” trend that is so hot right now (there were plenty of cummerbunds and bow ties amongst all the shorts and sporty looks) but Huston pulled the mix off seamlessly. Even a black leather motorcycle jacket worn with long seersucker shorts looked like they really did belong together.

JOHN BARTLETT

Showing in the blank space of his soon-to-open small store in the West Village, Bartlett treated guests to a lovely tableau of menswear that brought to mind travels to East – a theme he drove home by even including a few djellabas in the collection. While we suspect that most NYC men won’t be buying these skirted robes come spring, Bartlett did offer them other wonderful (and wearable) options including rope-belted khaki shorts, dark denim bell-bottoms, a yellow and beige seersucker fitted military shirt with matching skinny tie and a cool necktie with a barbed wire graphic. His mostly neutral palette featured lots of fresh-looking navy, white and khaki, which looked all the better against the rustic bare wood and stone walls of the store. Should Bartlett keep making collections like this one, the place is bound to become a must-stop for style-loving guys who aim to look casual but confident.

STAERK

Despite upping sticks from London to New York last year, Danish designer Camilla Staerk has kept one foot in a European sensibility while showing tentative leanings towards the more polished look coveted by her new American neighbors. Staerk said she drew inspiration from endless hours spent watching the Woody Allen films Manhattan and Stardust Memories, and really, how could she go wrong with Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep and Charlotte Rampling as her muses? Seen throughout the tight and tailored collection, which opened with a belted white shirt-dress, were numerous cropped and high-waist cropped pants, slim-fit shirts and racer-back tops all of a muted pallete and accented with colorful bold-checked cotton fabrics used in scarves, shirts and one gorgeous three-quarter-length full-volume skirt.

BUCKLER

Supposedly part James Bond, part Monty Python, Andrew Buckler’s large collection had a little bit of everything, from leather- or contrasted-trimmed tuxedos to bright yellow or pink skinny denim jeans with color-matching shirts and vests. The large offering — he showed 54 looks and that’s not including the vast parade of underwear-clad models that ended the show — included many a winner, including a polo shirt with a sheer panel at the back of the neck, a shiny gray trench with multiple buckles, numerous cool jeans and slick pointy-toed footwear.

BABY PHAT

Usually, one can feel the electricity in the air before a Baby Phat show. This season, however, the audience pre-show anticipation was lacking and never arrived as Kimora Lee Simmons sent out a St. Tropez-inspired collection of Baby Phat and her higher-end KLS collection. While the opening swimsuits and a sparkling dragon-encrusted sheath had plenty of her signature sex appeal and “fabulosity,” her other colorful and often colorblocked pieces — including denim shorts and minis and body-hugging tanks and dresses — seemed rather bland, at least for this notoriously over-the-top designer. It also didn’t help that men’s Phat Farm looks – such as embellished hoodies or urban prep-inspired tees and shorts — were dispersed throughout the presentation. The guys’ appearance only served to shatter the French Riviera illusion that Simmons aimed for.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 6

G-STAR

The Dutch denim giants went down a storm in Manhattans’ Gotham Hall, the brand’s second showing both at New York Fashion Week and on the international fashion calendar. The major production utilized a speedy conveyor belt and sweeping staircase that played stage to a highly choreographed and high-octane performance from the models, walking both mens- and womenswear. While patent and PVC jackets in color-popping neons punctuated the true-blue, designer Pierre Morisset stuck to the brand’s core with a diversity of denim. Jeans for both guys and girls featured turn-ups that reached the knee, dropped crotches and high waists in the label’s signature “raw” denim: clean and unadorned. Men’s jackets – one of G-Stars strongest categories – were heavy on wet-look nylon, cropped and boxy silhouettes, slim-line blazers and the trench-style, while women’s standouts were a jersey dhoti pantsuit, flirty dresses and denim-bikini tops, all working to prove Morisset’s clever capacity for exploring all the possibilities of denim, and G-Star's imminent hold on the competitive US market.

TSE

Talking to Sportswear International before the show, TSE told of the brands intention to step it up to take the coveted cashmere label further into high-design, clearly evidenced in the offerings for SS08. A typically neutral palette was accented by cyan blue, acid yellow and bright orange, while designer Tess Giberson switched up her exploration of exaggerated proportions with a clean and modern sensibility. Lean and structured silhouettes with “military abstractions” were off-set with treated fabrics – metallic coatings and waterproofed cottons – and an eclectic use of fabrications: linens, knitted cellophane and silk mesh sat against contrasting cashmere trims and dense-knit tops and bottoms.

ALEXANDER WANG

Opting for a runway presentation this season, Wang put on a superb show styled by supermodel Erin Wasson. His opening number—a slouchy, light gray double-breasted wool blazer worn over a ribbed tank and paired with faded denim shorts and flats—was signature Wang; he picked up the casual, girl-about-town look that he does so well several times as in a light blue chambray, snap-front shirt worn over similarly faded high-waisted jeans. But Wang also expanded his design vocabulary effortlessly with double pleating and innovative treatments for swingy pieces such as a coconut silk pleated top and black sponged silk crepe romper. Other key items included a black quilted jacket and an oversized cardinal red "Charlie" coat, emphasizing an overall relaxed silhouette for the season.

MISS SIXTY

From its acid-trippy palette to its modish geometric patterns, the Miss Sixty show was contemporary with a swingy spirit, bearing none of the aggressiveness of last fall's collection. Hassan was right to not drown his show in denim; instead he went with a wide variety of denim complements, including even a remarkably grown-up taupe chiffon dress with yellow and brown piping, to reflect the brand's growing street cred as an aspirational contemporary brand alternative.

LERARIO BEATRIZ

Former Marc Jacobs designer Ana Lerario Beatriz made her NYFW debut with a stunningly beautiful tableau presentation. Her ultra feminine creations included white eyelet shorts and skirts, sheer blouses and a red silk slip dress.


WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 5

SUE STEMP

The British fashion pack were in full attendance and full support of their designer export Sue Stemp in her third New York showing, which took place in the Cabaña bar of the West Side’s Maritime hotel. The concise collection consisted predominantly of long flowing bohemian dresses that bore vibrant all-over prints and a whiff of psychedelia – one print was called Voodoo Ray. A vest worn tight to the body with nothing underneath, teamed with a pair of pleated, wide-leg pants was a standout look, and proved Stemp worthy of the hype.

RAG & BONE

From the tan herringbone safari jackets that opened the show to a trim bowling shirt with unique button detailing and gray-white pique cortina shift dress, Rag & Bone explored new terrain in their design with terrific results. This is a brand that continues to excel at chic, understated jackets, but the brand also demonstrated it had come far in refining its quality and lines. Its suits and pleated, tapered trousers were some of the best seen thus far.

ALEXANDER HERCHCOVITCH

An intriguing collection from the man who last season bought us trash-bag dresses, this season stayed uncharacteristically on safe ground. Playing on the well-worn theme of masculine meets feminine, the men’s suit played a key role for Herchcovitch, being cut and re-pasted upon the female frame in a diversity of forms. Double-breasted jackets both cropped and with tails, black-buttoned dresses and tailored jump-suits were accessorized with collar and lapel necklaces and - in a welcome signature quirk - shirt-cuff bracelets linked with chains, hand-cuff style. Subtle and sleek but with a punked-up edge, the range was undoubtedly hip and proved the worth of South America’s most feted designer as, over all, an expert tailor.

ADAM BY ADAM LIPPES

With his models walking in front of a blue-tile backdrop, Lippes presented a collection that often brought to mind a honeymoon at a white-sand resort: white short shift dresses and men’s and women’s navy jackets paired with white shorts were easy, breezy and classic. More dramatic and colorful dresses, however, in shades of brilliant purple or chartreuse, for instance, and a gorgeous men’s pale pink trench coat, kept this sportswear collection from being standard-issue.

NAUTICA

Never a brand to “rock the boat” of fashion, Nautica served up another very wearable and department store—friendly collection of men’s boating-themed apparel, complete with hunky models, an anchor-graphic pullover and de rigeur white boat shoes. Superbright blues and yellows added punch to an otherwise standard Nautica offering. And although there was really nothing shown that we hadn’t seen before, the show was well produced and the clothes looked extremely sellable. If anything, Nautica certainly deserves kudos for its consistency and knowing exactly what its target customer wants to wear.

PERRY ELLIS

This very mainstream men’s collection, which showed two hours after Nautica, looked much like the former but in another color palette. (It too featured an anchor-graphic sweater.) Sunset orange pieces paired with khaki ones were the most effective colorwise and storm jacket worn underneath a suit was a nice styling touch. Was it wearable? Yes. Exciting? Not so much….

GENERRA

Designer Pina Ferlisi showed a fine spring women’s and men’s contemporary collection punctuated by bright color pops of yellow and blue, grays, “lipstick” pink, metallics (including a wonderful metallic shirtdress with white sleeves) and sophisticated silhouettes. While, the final black-and-white group wasn’t as successful as the rest of the collection, Ferlisi proved she has a great eye for color, fabrics and shapes. Among the collection’s fantastic outerwear pieces was a long white ruched anorak.


TUESDAY, SEPT. 4

JOSH GOOT

Returning to more familiar stylistic territory after producing an all-black collection for fall, the Australian wunderkind served up a fine, sexy color-filled mix of often body-hugging separates and dresses, mostly in his signature jersey. Goot’s talent for colorblocking was especially visible in a great white dress with a blue back and another with swirls of green, yellow and blue. His love of metallics was evident in an extra large gold and white herringbone top and shorts. Black-and-white and multicolor almost tie-dye looking prints were other highlights.


MARA HOFFMAN

Life’s a (tropical) beach for Hoffman in s/s 2008. Her very colorful collection of floaty dresses and other pieces – which was marked by bright color and spanned a wide gamut of silhouettes and hem lengths — included big orchid- and sand dollar-print dresses.


THE CAST

This buzzed-about brand for the past year received, not surprisingly, a stellar turnout for its debut presentation of skinny suits, waistcoats, stretch denim and metallic pants in an old East Village church. Although trouser silhouettes were almost uncomfortably too skinny, the brand scored on its denim and blazers, which bore interesting tailored details such as cropped hems grazing the hips and piped wristlines.

TROVATA

In an evening presentation with a rock band and Capoeira dancers dressed in the brand’s typically preppy-quirky casualwear — and female models walking out later in cute all-white Cape Cod-friendly dresses and pieces circa the JFK-on-vacation era — Trovata stuck with what it does best. The devil is in the details with this terrific label. Unfortunately, they don’t always translate from afar and didn’t register at this showing. And where was the tongue-in-cheek humor that has been the brand’s trademark from the get-go this season? Wherever you’ve gone, we miss you — and please come back next fall, OK?