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"Inspired by New York with all its harshness and beauty, black anchors a palette highlighted by scarlet, cerise, teal, aubergine, tan and lychee. Timeless, modern yet easy- to- wear." - Tracy Reese

New York Fashion Week: Designers' inspiration

What do Hitchcock's femme fatales, a mosque in Istanbul and Mozart have in common? Each was inspiration for the fall 2013 collections of fashion designers who will be strutting their stuff on catwalks all over town beginning Thursday as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week takes over Manhattan.

It may seem premature, with the end of winter almost in sight -- you've probably just begun to fantasize about your spring wardrobe. Not so for designers, who have been feverishly working on these fall collections since September. And if, like us, you sometimes wonder, "What were they thinking?," well, a slew of designers were kind enough to tell us and share a glimpse of their work. -- Anne Bratskeir

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"The fall of the Romanov dynasty" - Tadashi Shoji

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"Silhouettes are modern and clean with organic architectural embellishments, color blocking and fabric mixing. Soft silks both opaque and sheer with subtle textures are contrasted with modern structured tailoring and leather to create tension and balance. Prints are textural and graphic composed with a color palette grounded in muted neutrals and accented with blushy pinks, cognacs, and scarlet." - Rebecca Taylor

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"Hitchcock's femme fatales" - Mark Badgley and James Mischka

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"Urban Winter" - Elie Tahari

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"Inspired by New York with all its harshness and beauty, black anchors a palette highlighted by scarlet, cerise, teal, aubergine, tan and lychee. Timeless, modern yet easy- to- wear." - Tracy Reese

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"It's very moody and dark -- a little bit of Edgar Allen Poe, a little bit of Mozart. It's sultry, sexy, long, lean and verrrrry opulent." - Carmen Marc Valvo

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"The Labyrinth" - Joy Cioci

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"Inspired by the French salons of the mid 17th Century. Colours are rich and sultry and designs reflective of the beauty, intelligence and provocative allure of the parisienne salon patroness." - Jenny Packham

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"Exaggerated Classics" - DKNY

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"Girls who dress like boys -- the timeless tomboy. I am experimenting with menswear-inspired patterns in a subdued color palette, with leather and fur accents throughout the collection." -- Nicole Miller

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"Global artistic expression informs the modern exotic with re-imagined shape, color, and texture." -- Rachel Roy

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"Urban Liberation" - Kenneth Cole

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"I was looking at the structure and texture of beautiful aquatic flora and fauna, using it as a jumping off point for color story and embroidery." -- Daniel Vosovic

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"Mystery of Istanbul" - BCBGMAXAZRIA

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"A balanced play on contrasts through the investigation of colors and shapes." - Josep Font for Delpozo

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