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Fall fashion '10: Detail oriented

An exquisitely beaded capelet at Ralph Lauren, 3-D tulle at Marchesa, fabric like liquid mercury at Calvin Klein . . . not to mention the indoor snow shower at Isaac Mizrahi. As Fashion Week draws to a close, it's artistic touches like these that make certain designers stand out.


Ralph Lauren

It was an all-star hit parade, with Lauren's signatures - bohemian romance, nattiness, polished glamour - clear as a bell. Knit-capped models sauntered in tweedy jackets and coats topping ethereal floral dresses and skirts, many long, with wispy cashmere or lace turtlenecks underneath. Velvet jackets and dresses in amethyst, Bordeaux and slate, some with leg-o-mutton sleeves, conjured Stevie Nicks and Edwardian women. There were sublime, big hand-knit sweaters over jodhpurs, expertly turned out shearlings and supple suedes. For dress-up: gowns in black with sparkling embroidery and a series of silk georgette jobs in vintage floral patterns. All so very ready for retail.

- Anne Bratskeir


Isaac Mizrahi

Once upon a time, there was an enchanted forest called Central Park where uptown Cinderellas braved the elements and the social whirl in whimsical wardrobes. Such was the premise of Mizrahi's witty runway, where camping met couture. Humble quilting teamed with distressed silver leather; a heavily studded zip-front coatdress was chic city armor. Entrance makers included crocodile patterned crystals - clever, clever - and a leafy peach slither ending in an explosion of tulle. Fur-trimmed hoods were worn by themselves, and clear booties slipped over stilettos to protect from snow, which, natch, came down full force during the show.

- Anne Bratskeir


3.1 Phillip Lim

Lim says he's designing for a woman who exists somewhere "between disco and punk," a fashion rebel with taste and class. We say, we're jealous of her clothes. In a collection where off-kilter was right on, there were ponchos that fit over ensembles like puzzle pieces and terrific wedge-back coats in a lambskin-shearling combo. Quirky trapezoid skirts were done in giant checkered patterns, though you'll need to be bold to wear the not-so-basic giraffe print. Most wanted? Airy, handkerchief dresses of chiffon, their jagged hems trailing beneath geometric coats. Rule-breaking and limelight-stealing.

- Anne Bratskeir


Anna Sui

Inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement, Sui's runway was backed by a huge painting of a stained-glass window. No surprise, then, that stained-glass prints appeared on velvet burnout dresses and jackets. A windowpane jacket picked up on the season's menswear trend, and a peasant blouse with crocheted vest seemed meant for her more boho customers. Sui also introduced patterned hose (by Leg Resource), frames (by Mondottica) and a jewelry line with jeweler Erickson Beamon, inspired by their shared Michigan roots, and using actual tiles from Detroit's famed Pewabic Pottery in handcrafted necklaces and brooches.

- Joseph V. Amodio


William Rast

This line - helmed by Justin Timberlake, designed by pal Trace Ayala - has a ways to go before it's taken seriously as a creative brand and not just a "celebri-label." But it certainly has its own aesthetic: Southern country (hence the Dan'l Boone caps, Indian blanket ponchos and Confederate military jackets) mixed with rock and roll (denim, leather, fringe). Showing promise: a belted gray leather vest with folded strips, like little shingles, on the bottom. Simple, inventive, and almost makes us forget those frilly poet shirts

- Joseph V. Amodio


Marchesa

Before James Cameron's "Avatar" or Tim Burton's "Alice," there was Georgina Chapman, sculpting shooting stars and other 3-D accents out of tulle. She continues on, this time inspired by 19th-century dancer and courtesan Lola Montez. As the song goes, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets," and she'd surely want any number of these beauties. Models stood like exotic creatures in perilously high heels, adorned in feathers, organza, chiffon. A red suede strapless recalls folded Valentine's Day hearts; embroidered paisley on nude netting looks tattooed on; and tulle pinwheels spring out in all directions. And no 3-D glasses required.

- Joseph V. Amodio


ETC.


Skybox surprises

American Express card holders who snagged tix to watch shows from the AmEx Skybox have had plenty of company. Popping in so far for photo ops and Q&As: "Project Runway's" Tim Gunn, and Melania and Donald Trump. What does the Donald know about fashion? "I plunk the credid cahd down like this," we imagine he'd say.

- Joseph V. Amodio


Psychic skin care

For Fashion Week, the people at Orlane Paris brought in a psychic to tell fortunes, but they're the ones who can see your future (or at least your skin's). Their say that aging begins to settle in (eek) from the age of 25, so they've got a new line of products, Anagense 25+ for young-uns to forestall the process. Spooky.

- Anne Bratskeir

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