Contrary to superstition Friday the 13th proved to be a good day for the fashion industry. On that day New York Fashion Week ended, and wrapped up seven days of numerous outstanding presentations.

Olympus Fashion Week held in the tents in Bryant Park was the epicenter of it all with a calendar of back-to-back fashion shows. However it wasn’t the only venue to offer some of the best fall/winter ’04 collections. Just a few blocks down, MAO Public Relations hosted its usual run of "alternate" shows at Atlas, which has become known for its showcase of emerging designers. There were also the off-site shows that sent editors, stylists and fashionistas scrambling to find a vacant taxi to make it there on time.

As with every new season, new trends emerged on the catwalks. From tasteful tweeds and polished pretty girl looks topped with caplets and furs to an all black and white palette or a rainbow of color and texture (think rich velvets and lots of sequined embellishments), this season’s collections cover the style spectrum for New York’s street-chic fashion set.

Here’s a rundown of some our favorites:

Plastic surgeons are lucky if they have half the talent of PERRY ELLIS designers Patrick Robinson (womenswear) and Jerry Kaye (menswear), who effortlessly made buttoned-up, dressy super-conservative 1950s-inspired looks young, fresh and oh-so modern. Who knew that so-called "frumpy" items like tweed tailored skirts, faux fur muffs, pastel trench coats and cashmere cardigans with pearls could look so exciting and, yes, even sexy. In particular, several mens' tank top-like scoop neck sweaters and a camel pullover hoodie trimmed in green velvet ribbon seamlessly merged 1950s retro Republicanism with modern streetwear/layering influences. Bravo, Robinson and Kaye!

DUCKIE BROWN designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver definitely know how to mix style with sense of humor. The design duo’s menswear line was not only a stylish blend of prints, patterns, texture and tailoring but also a good example of how being quirky can work in men’s favor. Standouts included striped velvet and denim jackets worn with handsome pinstriped waistcoats and funky printed dress shirts and a toned-down three-piece gray pinstriped suit (with detachable bunny tail on the derrière) worn with a green dress shirt and "eggplant wankers" (fingerless gloves). The wacky accessories that finished many of the looks, such as the "Disco Barbapapa Broach," an oversized stuffed red sequined English cartoon character worn on the lapel of a striped jean blazer, also contributed to the line’s spirit of humor, creativity and fun.

Speaking of cartoon characters, Dunedin, New Zealand-based NOM.D was inspired by Bambi and Edie Sedgwick, "those two iconic doe-eyed beauties," for its fall/winter show titled "Don't Shoot." Grounded with a ’60s modernist edge, designer Margi Robertson then looked through the scope of a deer hunter’s rifle. The result? An all black, white and gray collection — with shots of bright orange — for men and women. She offered numerous directional novelty pieces, including an outstanding one-armed black asymmetrical blazer strapped with criss-crossing white suspenders on one side and pins and badges stuck on the opposite side’s lapel. Nom.D also hit the mark with basic sportswear items such as trousers, skirts, jackets, T-shirts and hoodies layered over black-and-white striped leggings and long sleeve tops.

At the circus-themed HEATHERETTE presentation, the buzz seemed more about who was in the show rather than what was in it. For starters, Boy George was the emcee and a shirtless Marcus Schenkenburg was set out wearing flared jeans. And, in the unforgettable finale, Anna Nicole Smith pranced down the runway while lip-synching Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend." Smith wore a pink version of Monroe’s famous "Seven year Itch" white halter dress and seemed to have a grand time showing off her newly trim figure. The collection overall was exactly what one would expect from designers Richie Rich and Trevor Rains: a razzle-dazzle rainbow of hyper’80s looks from club kid-meets-drag queen dresses embellished with tulle, sequins, corsages, feathers and fringe to cowboy and sailor-themed ensembles for men and women. But there were also tamer pieces—a soft pink tweed jacket, several mini dresses and tops, and even a shrunken fur jacket with corsage. While still suitable for those in the circus, these items were clearly not made for flashy ringleaders.

MATTHEW WILLIAMSON’s sexy column dresses with handkerchief hems in rainbow colors were to die for. Perhaps more appropriate for spring, the designer used layers of sheer silk chiffon in bright fuchsia, green, tie-dye and prints on short and long versions. He trimmed many of them in gold or velvet.

Other less than autumnal looks came from CYNTHIA ROWLEY. Her fall show titled "Midnight Tea" was a glammed up version of a "high tea" party. Sprinkles of gold on lace leggings and touches of glitz—a high-waisted pink "glitter skirt" sparkled with all-over beading—added a nice touch among dainty floral print dresses and menswear tailoring. A favorite was Rowley’s "halter skirts," which she offered in several different fabrications.

ARLEQUIN, known for its vintage lingerie look, was a modern-day rendition of the Belle Époque era. Corsets and delicate camisoles edged with lace were shown with silk skirts, pants and shorts that resembled undergarments from that age. A standout was a floor-length corseted "umbrella dress" that literally opened like an upside-down umbrella at the hem.

NAUTICA designer David Chu took inspiration for his fall 2004 men’s collection from travels of endurance and aviation. The collection was masculine, colorful and filled with versatile and updated classical pieces, many of which were made with cashmere and cashmere blends. Chu updated blue, Nautica’s mainstay color, with flashes of bright yellows, greens, oranges and reds.

Korean design duo Y & KEI did it again. Their 2004 fall collection, inspired by the ’30s and then glammed up with ’70s touches, was beautifully constructed and detailed. were present on Beautiful jacquard coats and skirts, along with feminine blouses, floated down the runway in a presentation awash in romantic dusty pinks, purples and florals. Red was a strong accent color. Also noteworthy were the accessories, which included delicate double-sided leather belts and lovely open-toe heels with silk ribbon ankle ties.

Australian designers Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, aka SASS & BIDE, showed a wonderful collection of fun and flirty clothes inspired by travel. Tweeds were mixed with hula skirts and fur leg warmers adorned models who looked like warriors, Indians, and rockers. Pacific-inspired headpieces made of feather and coins added a fabulous and exotic flair.

With an English and equestrian influence, Jack MASCHARKA showed tweeds and hound’s-tooth designs in his collection for men and women. The clothes included women’s tailored suits and classic basics for men. The women’s suits featured fitted jackets and knee-length shirts in soft mustard colors and elegant fabrics.

CATHERINE MALANDRINO’s woodsy collection featured cropped sweaters, pants, beautiful leather jackets, bubble-knit capelets and elegant trench coats. But its pieces de resistance were clearly the oversized, puffy raccoon hats, which were a great juxtaposition to the designer’s against elegant, feminine pieces.

Experimental designer GARY GRAHAM also hit the mark this season. His Saturday show at Mao Space presented his gorgeous "Roma Collection," which he based on gypsy looks. The high-energy show looked somewhat like "Pirates of the Caribbean" for the hipster set and featured numerous outstanding pieces, including Graham’s signature quilted coats and jackets, exaggerated lace-trimmed shirts, corset tops and garter-trimmed hoodies. Using a palette of mostly antique pinks, rich burgundy, black, green and iridescent tones, Graham offered a refreshing, rockingly romantic alternative to the week’s sea of tweedy traditionalism.

Menswear designers Alexandre Plohov and Robert Geller of CLOAK also presented another winning collection on Saturday. Sticking to their mostly black and gray palette, the duo wowed again with designs based on fin-de-siecle Vienna but clearly made for modern-day downtown NYC artists and their ilk. Oxymoronically both dressier and sportier than their previous collections, the two offered 21 fantastic looks that included outstanding skinny jeans, highly original wool plus-fours, blazers with elbow straps, plush cashmere cardigans and even a few tuxedo-like pants and jackets.

LUELLA BARTLEY’s "Danger, Danger, Sloane Ranger" collection was another winner, and most noteworthy for its decorative touches, including multicolor "smiley face" buttons on black gabardine trench coats, skate stickers on boots and quilted elbow patches on moleskin coats that would be perfect for a weekend in the English countryside. Marrying bucolic equestrian pieces with modern, tongue-in-cheek urbanity, Bartley said was inspired by young, fun-loving, Anglo aristocrats. Her choice of eccentric muses was clearly a good one.

ROBERTO MENICHETTI, the one-time creative director of Burberry, launched his new namesake collection of men’s and women’s tops, bottoms, outerwear and accessories in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood on Tuesday. Unadorned and as "classic" as "classic sportswear" can get, the sober clothes were nonetheless beautifully made with gorgeous cashmeres, canvases, leathers and tweeds. While some criticized the collection for being too classically Italian and/or minimal, we loved its simplicity and luxury — and left the presentation eager to start layering many of Menichetti’s beautifully realized items with funkier pieces this fall.

— Joselle Yokogawa, Elissa Silver Weinberg and Christopher Blomquist, Sportswear International’s New York Bureau Team