Outside his runway show at the NASDAQ Tower in Times Square, all was loud, bustling, neon-bright. Inside, the mood was serene, with a whisper of the Far East: a mandarin collar here, a cheongsam there. An onyx strapless gown was topped with a bolero encrusted with gobs of jewels. A crimson sheath gently hugged the body to the floor. A citrine gown swirled to one side in taffeta clouds. These dresses are built for real women with real figures -- women with natural beauty, like Vanessa Williams, who sat eyeing any number of red carpet possibilities.

Photo: Bruce Gilbert