Complete coverage and the latest reviews of the Spring 2007 ready-to-wear collections at New York Fashion Week, Sept. 7-15.



Care Bears amongst the flora clutching AK47s or with grenades strapped to their chests, repeat-pattern fighter jets, bullets, tank tire-tracks, an all-over print of the words from the US Constitution and models sporting military hard-hats with Mickey Mouse ears - the devil was truly in the detail for the most potently political show of the week, entitled "Patriotism", from Jeremy Scott. Idiosyncratic in his bold and bizarre designs, Scott's typical tongue-in-cheek wit had somber evocations that were refreshing after a week of fashion frivolity. Among the out-there statement pieces such as the Mount Rushmore dress, with past presidents carved into a plaster-cast corset top, were wearable cropped jersey trousers, knit tops, all-in-ones and capelet cropped jackets in an easy muted palette, albeit with somewhat vociferous motifs. A climatic cheer came from the appreciative crowd as the final model (Lydia Hearst, no less) walked in a US flag-dress, which seemed to be erupting from the AK47 that was hanging from her back. - Fay Cantor-Stephens


Designer Doo-ri Chung didn’t stray far from her signature draped jersey dresses but added a new dimension to her work, with brilliant peri-gray sheer insets on fitted jackets, halter dresses and stretch trousers that molded the body like a second skin. Showing higher waists on skirts and pants to complex draping from front to back, Chung has never been more confident in dressing the female body and ultimately got the season’s theme of quiet luxury right. - Tim Yap



Jenden’s sophomore runway effort yielded an intriguing mix of tented shapes, utilitarian details, metallic separates and hand-painted chiffon evening dresses. Overall, Jenden seemed to be having fun creating cocktail showpieces in keeping with the lepidopteral theme of the show and has a good sense of color (pewter, white, midnight, yellow), but it was hard to ignore his more natural approach to sportswear. - TY


The Dalmau brothers upheld the eccentricity of Custo with a parade of contrasting neon prints and patterns. Mini dresses, cropped jackets and leggings featured heavily for women, while for men it was jersey pants and polo shirts. Africana was a clear influence with geometric patterns of burnt oranges and red, as well as neon colorways and zig-zagging lines that met with a certain Euro-pop sensibility. - FCS


This season, designers Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai chose a garden lawn setting in which to show their whimsical s/s 2007 collection (pictured above), with models grouped under titles such as "The Picnickers" and "The Observers." Though the mannequins were slightly haphazard on the Astroturf, the clothes maintained a Gatsby-esque elegance and humility. Highlights included cream and navy colorways, light silken fabrics, clean silhouettes, minimalist block prints and pretty capelet charmeuse dresses. - FCS



Y-3 may have opened on a familiar note with a sporty black and white ensemble comprising a double-sleeved top and three-quarter length pants, but it was soon clear that the designer was offering a sharper tailored vision for spring: diagonal contrasting color blocks and morning coat-style jackets to flou-some ruffled long dresses with rounded edges that resembled petals in black that closed the show. Yamamoto also drove the fashion-sport category forward with purple bomber-style jackets, crisp overalls, mosaic prints and second-skin fabrics, but ultimately maintained the show’s focus on trimmer silhouettes and subtle tailoring by presenting models on conveyor belts and offering front to side profiles for the audience. - TY


The runway was awash with white and gold as the show began, with Diesel demonstrating its capacity for non-denim attire, with easy-to-wear separates spruced by the brand's usual quirky detailing. The denim pieces were especially strong, though, in particular the high-waisted jeans, which fit the girls perfectly and were shown in a variety of colors. Men's all-blue denim outfits took the brand back to its roots with bombers, cropped jackets and slim jeans. - FCS


It was all in the detailing for Trovata, which showed its latest collection over cocktails and a Cuban band, with models standing set for observation. The country-cum-nautical, scuba-diving theme was typically novel, and while Whitledge, Halmos and Shipley didn't exactly push the boat with their designs, the finishing touches to this reserved collection made it worthy of praise. Roped belts, gold clasps and large mismatched buttons added interest to simple dresses, culottes, slacks and summer shirts. - FCS


An audience of drag queens, dandies and club kids, with Paris and Nicky Hilton, Kelis and Mya walking the runway; it was another Heatherette show. The theatrics created by Richie Rich and Traver Rains attested to the eccentricity of a label for which hype can sometimes eclipse the designs. Ever bright and bold, distinctive yet wearable pieces were found among the fancy-dress in the form of logo-print silk empire dresses and a white shirt-dress with ample gold detailing. - FCS


In keeping with the Cloak aesthetic, looks were tailored and sharp, but did not adhere to the lean and mean of previous seasons. Metallic prints and bleached treatments paired with cap sleeves, paneling and injections of lipstick red (think early Kraftwerk promo pics) took Cloak in a surprising, but pleasing, and dare I say it "pop" direction. - FCS


Delivering frothy only the way she could, Johnson opened her show with a white organdy pintucked pinafore that set the tone for a fine presentation of ruffled blouses, shirt dresses and bubble silhouettes to sexy crepe pencil skirts with ticking stripes, polka dots and tonal accents. This was arguably a more subdued collection, but Johnson’s palette of blush, cream, baby blue, vanilla and lilac was right on trend for the season. – TY


Florals, a trenchcoat and snappy shorts and jackets with a purple base and contrast piping in white emerged as the key pieces for the Beckerman trio of designers, who entitled their presentation “Kiss me quick in Amsterdam.” Overall this collection showed a greater sense of maturity, though youngish, swingy separates, as in a modish black and white striped tunic paired with polka dot leggings, remain the brand’s forte. – TY



In a typically beautiful production Jacobs’s show was bursting at the seams with fresh updates of today’s trends. Layered jersey, mannish pleated trousers and billowing “tulip” pants walked with flapper dresses and bejeweled headscarves. The palette was a wash of neutrals with pops of bright metallic and spangled sequins. Edwardian bohemians meet disco, at a high street near you soon…. – FCS


In a season where menswear designers have been proposing minimalist silhouettes and striking colors, Varvatos dared to stick to his own guns to create a smart collection that could be easily understood and worn by every man. His show opener - a pavement-colored cotton asymmetrical jacket worn with the collar up, an Aegean blue linen tee, white distressed cotton/metal flight pant and graphite loafers – said it all. Other notable items highlighting the collection's softer, less aggressive silhouettes included a blue/topaz linen cable v-neck sweater, indigo cotton/linen denim duster and sepia cotton/canvas toggle coat. Varvatos also moved beyond the rock-heavy lexicon of the previous season for his Star USA brand, with snappy classics, from a midnight slub cotton cardigan to a cotton voile print button-down shirt. - TY


Girls were both naughty and nice for Victor de Souza, where pretty cream and white outfits were punctuated with ever-so-high spike-heel platforms in devil red. Silk and organza had a strong presence throughout, as shown in a key piece, the trompe l’oeil top that was teamed with girl-meets-boy shorts. – FCS


The rock ’n’ roller lives on for Andrew Buckler, whose fashion freak show saw the midget hosts wheel on its models for display. Mulleted boys sported skinny jeans, giant pointed shoes, print Tees and leather accessories. The highlight: ten of the show’s finest, clad only in Buckler underwear running slow-mo to Chariots of Fire. Nice. – FCS


Sportswear at its sweetest, the collection was drawn from nautical inspirations, looking sharp but casual for spring. Seersucker jackets and lightweight cashmere led for men while womenswear took it up a notch with a high-waisted trouser, and stayed on trend with a neutral pallet and accents of blue and gold. – FCS


Ever sweet and girly, Cynthia Steffe presented a characteristically feminine collection of light cotton dresses, shorts and shirts, which kept a foot in the door of the boudoir for a playful sexiness. Using a light palette of pretty pastels and simple cuts, Steffe also stepped up the wearability of her pieces, with eyelets, side button details, bold floral prints and thigh-high hems. - FCS



There may have been a disco quality to Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra’s no-fuss, pretty, fluid jersey dresses cinched at the waist this season, but the overall effect, coupled with the odd gold embroideries on lapels, was to underscore the young brand’s understanding of restraint and modern femininity. - TY



Oliver Helden, co-designer of the upcoming menswear collective, said for spring the design team was inspired by the May 1968 student protests in Paris. The result? Easy, understated pieces that took their cue from uniforms and collegial basics in a palette that ranged that army green to off white, slate, brown and yellow. – TY


Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s collection of dresses with contrasting prints and fabrics, with necklines as varied as the hemlines, seemed to radiate an energy of its own on the catwalk, which speaks volumes for this newcomer to fashion week. Whether it was the sheer pleats on the front of a blouse, the cascading Juliet sleeves, the graceful oscillation of ruffles on a mini, or the seductive low cut of a back, Mukherjee brought intrigue to this collection, and for certain it will be interesting to see what he does next. – TY



Cropped suit jackets, oversized shirt tails, ballooning pants and plunging scoop neck tanks – there wasn’t much in the way of proportions, shapes and Japonisme designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver didn’t tinker with for spring and with varied success. There were, however, great pieces such as sheer, oversized jerseys and eyelet detailing that seemed to be make a more sophisticated statement on the brand's ongoing man/woman dialogue. - TY


Inheriting designer Kenneth Cole’s 9 a.m. time slot, John Bartlett kicked off fashion week with a wearable collection that was sporty in its proportions, knitwear and shorts, and cool in its gray, tan, blue and pale yellow tones and subdued checks. Bartlett has shown his share of body-hugging sportswear in the past. This season he offered boxy drawstring anoraks that seemed fresh and even trousers seemed to fit looser on the leg. - TY