A model poses at the Cynthia Rowley presentation during Mercedes-Benz...

A model poses at the Cynthia Rowley presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 at The Highline Hotel in Manhattan. (Sept. 7, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

Cynthia Rowley’s spring presentation, in a stately hall at the High Line Hotel, had the look of a big, bawdy party—like a bunch of free spirits had taken over a university or monastery (the hotel was originally part of a seminary) to celebrate Mardi Gras or Carnival.

There were no Mardi Gras beads, actually, but the ticky-tacky decorations hanging from grand chandeliers had that look. (New Orleans, the Caribbean, Polynesia: We were SOMEWHERE tropical, that's for sure.)  And the models, standing in one long row, wore an array of joyful foral and abstract prints to prove it.

A few were on the frou frou side—mega ruffles, frills. One fun combo paired a white tee (which had a floral print on the front that looked like the model was wearing a Hawaiian lei) with sleek cigarette pants with a contrasting tropical leaf print.  A coral and brown tropical floral dress looked downright downtown thanks to clever styling--the model wore pretty, smart-gal frames.

The raciest offerings had to be those dresses made with horizontal strips of fabric on mesh, like a narrow ribbon wrapped round and round and round. There were slight gaps in between each row—revealing a glimpse of skin both subtle and sensual. One such dress was all black, the other was, on closer inspection, a multi-colored skirt worn with a rainbow-stripe knit top.

Rowley also had tulips on the brain—a large bloom on a knit top, a small one decorating a simple, low-hemmed dress. Okay, we can breathe easy—clearly Rowley’s personal brand of eclectic, artsy informality is as strong as ever.

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