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Rachel Comey designs are clever, breezy illusions

A model walks the runway for Rachel Comey

A model walks the runway for Rachel Comey spring fashion 2012 at Pier 59, NYC. (Sept. 7, 2011) Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

That's not a cable-knit sweater or a nubby wool plaid you see coming down the runwayit just LOOKS like it, thanks to Rachel Comey's things-are-not-qute-what-they-seem, trompe l'oeil prints.  Picture a long, sheer dress with a green and black diamond print that, upon closer inspection, is a photographed print of a cable-knit sweater.  Or a long, sheer caftan covered in another photographed print of a nubby wool plaid.  It's the type of texture you'd expect to see on a Chanel jacket or pencil skirt.

The juxtaposition of heavy-looking prints on flutter-light fabrics was echoed in the construction many of the dresses were loose, breezy, sacklike numbers supported by stringy shoulder straps. 

Comey's show was at Pier 59, down by the Hudson River at Chelsea Piers, and it was worth the long walk west.  There's nothing slit too high or cut too deep these are wearable (dare we say) comfortable clothes, with just enough artful color blocks or clever cuts that you can't  help but look stylish.

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