The tents are coming down, the models are headed to London, and exhausted New York editors, stylists, and PR reps are looking forward to spending a low-key weekend in homes they probably haven’t seen much of in the past seven days. The biannual stylistic frenzy known as Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week came to a close this afternoon when Donna Karan showed her spring/summer 2004 collection on West 21st Street.
Major trends to emerge from the New York catwalks included 1920s and '30s flapper and showgirl looks, 1980s superbright colors and details, use of gold metallics and champagne-colored hues, pops of yellow in menswear and entirely yellow ensembles in womenswear, corset-inspired flourishes, and nods to the old-school preps and society girls.
Here’s a brief rundown of some of the shows that were of particular interest to New York’s young and directional fashion set:

MICHAEL AND HUSHI staged a catwalk show called "Paris is Burning" which reflects the duo's obsessions with fashion, glamour and club life. The front row featured some of NYC clubland's best known personalities: supermodel Veruschka, door keeper Kenny Ken and stylist Patricia Field. The show featured black with white piping corseted dresses with theft-detector sensos for zipper pulls. A black silk and nylon taffeta bike messenger gown featured a halter made from a disassembled backpack.

At HEATHERETTE, which was sponsored by Kyoto Style, a company that promotes Japanese textiles, club looks were interspersed with beautiful, sexy pieces made with Japanese silks.

ALICE ROI was inspired by the society set. Apres swim style was reflected in velour and terry wrap dresses, miniskirts and super sexy looks designed for the younger generation of the moneyed set.

Alessandro Poddie and Matthew Morgan, the talented design team behind the new menswear label MORGAN D'ALESSANDRO, made a stunning Fashion Week debut with an impressive, highly wearable and beautifully styled collection of subtlety detailed tops, bottoms, jackets and swimsuits that merged preppy touches (striped shirting fabrics and colorful polos) with modern, funky and sexy tailoring. The line was also enriched by great Iceland-inspired graphics and well-placed, low-key adornments such as decorative stitching.

The high-energy show by CLOAK was like a speeding black, on-target, punk missile launched against fashion’s current love of color and retro preppy/surf. Designers Alexandre Plohkov and Robert Geller showed a powerful mostly black and gray collection of collared dress shirts, '80s style mesh tops, leather jackets, skimpy scarves, and knee-hugging pants modeled by a crew of long-haired, cigarette-smoking models. It was Cloak’s darkest, edgiest collection to date — and arguably its best.

M.R.S. presented her lovely, feminine cotton jersey collection in an intimate salon setting in a breakfast presentation. Her sorbet shades of purple, orange and green draped cotton jersey dress hugged the body and maintained the designer's signature handmade aesthetic- featuring exposed seams and loose threads.

Y & KEI offered a mix of modern pieces such as hand-knit trousers and batwing jackets with drop-dead gorgeous Great Gatsbyesque flapper dresses in leather and suede. Muted greens, lilac, ivory and champagne comprised the collection’s elegant color palette.

Denim was not the focus of the show at MAURICE MALONE. While the designer may have made his name in the denim world, he is clearly asserting his talents as a collections designer. Sexy baby doll dresses looked cute, while men walked the runway in less than inspiring surfer dude styles.

VETERAN, the new line by former Imitation of Christ partner Danny Seo and confrere Anamyn Turowski, debuted with a street-friendly collection of men’s and womenswear constructed from reworked vintage items and industrial canvas. Tops totally covered in Boy Scout patches and jackets made from green army-surplus bags — complete with the original straps, grommets and closures — added a fresh twist to the military look.

DUCKIE BROWN was the standout at the GenArt show. This menswear collection’s bright colors such as fuchsia, orange and gold were married with whimsical touches such as a different colored bucket hats layered on top of one another, which created a fun piece of parfaitlike headwear.

— Edina Sultanik Silver, New York Bureau Chief, and Christopher Blomquist, North American Features Editor