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J. Crew at New York Fashion Week, going coastal

Models on the runway at the J. Crew

Models on the runway at the J. Crew presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 at The Studio at Lincoln Center. (Sept. 10, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

Tom Mora, head of women’s design at J. Crew, had parallel beaches on his mind as inspiration for the brand’s presentation, held at Lincoln Center Tuesday morning.

One was set in California, and all about “the strength of surfers and the casual lifestyle they lead wearing floral prints, modern fabrics and bold colors,” Mora said in program notes. The second focused on European beach culture at the turn of the last century, specifically the Venetian coast, and was more ladylike.

For fun there was plenty of quirk: A slim, floral cotton silk jumpsuit was topped by a navy blazer with white piping – an excellent contradiction. A pale minty sugarplum fairy froth of a skirt was worn with an oversized T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Aloha” – so kicky. This, along with easy pajama pants -- some sequin – conveyed a laid-back lifestyle.

Less kooky, more conservative looks included elegant (yes, elegant) dresses – one in black silk organza will be a wardrobe go-to . Flashier types may lean toward neon frocks with clean lines – one, persimmon, in heavy matte crepe, another a chartreuse basket weave.

In all, the 30 looks underscored the J.Crew mission: something (nice) for everyone.

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