There were a number of key trends in womenswear during Olympus Fashion Week in New York. High waistlines on pants and skirts, as well as empire waist dresses were a refreshing change to belly baring bottoms of past seasons.

Here’s are some of the most important trends for fall we spotted during the women’s runway shows and presentations:

Vivienne Tam's festive and '40s-inspired collection featured high-waisted slim skirts and trousers in wool, plaid and tweed paired with gorgeous jewel tone fitted cape jackets, satin or velvet blouses and embellished shells or cardigans.

Cat Swanson showed a number of regal looking, layered chiffon, empire waist dresses in her collection, aptly titled "Queen of Spades." Styles varied. An all-black version was simple and elegant. Others mixed different fabrics, like a Japanese flower print with lavender chiffon inserts at the skirt. Swanson’s slim satin trousers, knickers and "Louis Knee Pants" (a style very similar to jodhpurs) were also winners, especially when they came paired with sequin tops and the designer’s luxe fox vests and collars.

Swanson wasn’t the only one who favored jodhpurs and knickers this season, proving them to be a strong item for fall/winter ‘05/06. Styles were especially noteworthy in the collection of Catherine Malandrino, who paired her plaid, porcelain and pearl colored versions with gorgeous mohair cardigans, jacquard jackets and pretty cotton tulle blouses.

Likewise, A La Disposition also successfully returned to the 1930s and 1940s with a collection that brought to mind aristocratic ladies who liked their guns: think "Chicago" meets "The Shooting Party." There were high-waisted navy pants, shooting skirts, tweed corsets and a bullet pocket on a printed red skirt.

In what was clearly one of the best women’s shows of thew week, cool designer Rebecca Taylor calmly wowed with a modern, city-friendly collection that blended equestrian looks and empire looks a la "Sense and Sensibility" but gave them a decided modern-girl edge. Her palette was dark (chocolate and black velvets were especially prominent) but the darker edge was softened with gorgeous rose floral prints, cream puff-sleeved shirts, white tights, fantastic layering and beautiful necklaces. The show was romantic, soothing and beautiful.

Another designer favored with New York’s downtown crowd, Nanette Lepore, also delivered an impressive and beautiful collection for fall. Rich in peasant looks, empire dresses, women’s military jackets, white fur hats and richly decorated metallic skirts and dresses that brought to mind Faberge eggs, the collection showed that Russian retro will be a sexy-meets-elegant look on many New York women this fall.

Teal blue complemented many collections, adding a splash of rich color to an otherwise dark palette for fall/winter. At Y & Kei, teal accented masculine/feminine looks (a la Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis and Greta Garbo) that came mostly in black, deep brown and taupe. Relaxed silhouettes like a dropped waist velvet coat with fur collar, a sweater cape and a dolman sleeve sweater coat looked elegant over lacey tops and dresses, tulip skirts and satin pants.

Designers such as Shelly Steffe took a no-frills approach to the season, opting for simple, streamlined silhouettes inspired by luxury automobiles of the 1930s. Sound iffy? It wasn’t. Steffe successfully managed to incorporate classic design elements from that era—curves, dashboards, color and shapes—and turn them into chic ensembles complete with accessories like a tobacco colored "patent leather greaser belt" and "felted wool rumble cap with sequins."

Jasmin Shokrian is another who preferred few frills. Leaning toward the avant-garde, Shokrian showed off her sculptural hand with a collection that featured draped and gathered pieces like knee-length wool skirts, silk chiffon tops and dresses and a few sculpted capes that will surely make their way into the hands of fashion’s elite.

Not one for understatement, Jennifer Lopez closed the week with a fabulous finale show for her JLo clothing line and new Sweetface contemporary label on Friday night. The show was everything one would expect from the mega-entertainer, with a dazzling set up–a labyrinth of director's chairs for seating and sparkling Swarovski crystals scattered all over the runway–and a production level equivalent to a high-budget music video. In true JLo fashion, there was even a fan set up at the end of the runway for that wind-blown hair effect Lopez seems to love. The clothes oozed Lopez’s fashion sensibility. Lots of neutral tones like cream, tan and sand that complement a flawless tanned complexion, lots of sexiness and a certain 'fly' style and gorgeous furs and diamonds (on loan) to really polish off the look. Lopez offered up some yummy hand knit cashmere sweaters and cashmere sweater pants, stylish cropped pants and knickers–some high-waisted and plaid–and a purple suede cropped jacket and green army coat that needed no translation from runway to real way. Of course there were showstoppers. A brown suede cropped top with beads down to there and a champagne-colored silk charmeuse fringe dress channeled Cher. And a cream silk charmeuse jumpsuit with a silver fox fur was just plain sexy. All in all, Lopez proved that, while her clothes may never hang with the industry's heavyweight designers–her show is still the hottest ticket in town.

— Joselle Yokogawa, with additional reporting by Christopher Blomquist