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NY Fashion Week: Designers' spring fashions dazzle

This weekend at New York Fashion Week former industry wunderkinds, among them Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzarra, established themselves with collections that displayed their growth and solidified their strong points of view. Tiyana Grulovic reports from the second, third and fourth days of shows

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Making something new out of nautical inspiration (about as original for spring as florals) can be tricky, but I found myself on board with Tommy Hilfiger’s interpretation. Taking his obsession with all things Americana (you have to love American designers’ unabashed patriotism) for a ride, presumably on a luxury yacht, Hilfiger presented a series of red, white and blue stripes channelling an off-duty Lauren Hutton. Breton shirts were given an update in leather – and, with consideration to summer, vents thanks to zippers on the sides. When tops turned into dresses, the effect was just as sharp. Suiting that felt like pajamas but was inspired by over-sized menswear were other standouts thanks mostly to fit, fluidity and scale: They just looked as lovely as they did comfortable. And no nautical voyage would be complete without a boat shoe, here modified and stacked to accommodate those long, full trousers. I think Hutton would approve.

LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

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A model presents a creation from the Tommy Hilfiger women's spring 2013 collection.

LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

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A model presents a creation from the Tommy Hilfiger women's spring 2013 collection.

LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

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Alexander Wang knows exactly what his downtown-cool customer wants, even down to the front row. Attendees included Karen Elson and South African subversive rap group Die Antwoord (who also performed at the designer’s after party). Always a stickler for cohesion, Wang produced a show with a singular vision: And this one floats. It was an update on Wang’s usual edgy simplicity, a collection comprised of black, white and nude, with standout panels held together with fishing line, made to seem as though it hovered over the body. The sheer amount of pieces involved kept the whole concept from swallowing the body, with slits and shapes that moved with is instead of just around it.

ANDREW BURTON/REUTERS

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A model presents a creation from Alexander Wang’s spring 2013 collection.

Richard Drew/AP

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A model presents a creation from Alexander Wang’s spring 2013 collection.

Richard Drew/AP

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A model presents a creation from Alexander Wang’s spring 2013 collection.

Richard Drew/AP

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One of the most-buzzed shows is always Prabal Gurung, another young talent coming into his own. The drippy, trippy prints he made his signature last season were refreshed here (this time inspired by artist Anish Kapoor) but they were in no way the highlight. Once the simple, impeccably tailored trouser looks came out, those prints looked regurgitated. It was, in part, thanks to the silhouettes, with soft tails trailing underneath jackets, that really showcased a clear vision and a direction that worked. When rows of drop-waist dresses with ruffles and prints and bustles took the runway, flatting somehow beyond reason, you almost wanted to dust the excess off to get back to the serenity of those first key exits.

Richard Drew/AP

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A model presents a creation from Prabal Gurung’s spring 2013 collection.

Richard Drew/AP

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A model presents a creation from Prabal Gurung’s spring 2013 collection.

Richard Drew/AP

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David Neville and Marcus Wainwright have come a long way with Rag & Bone, a line that started out with creating the perfect jean. The duo has been on an experimental streak over the past few years, making (sometimes over-the-top) layering a key point. For spring, it’s refreshing to see what happens when they pull back and let clothes speak for themselves. The bedouin meets sport theme here worked, with layered shirtdresses over cargo pants and baggy bermudas. The leathers were standout, especially in crackled neon and most notable in a modern motocross jacket. Rag & Bone can still cut a pair of pants, but this season they’re leather, patchy and as perfect as ever.

Stephen Chernin/AP

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A model presents a creation from the Rag & Bone spring 2013 collection.

Stephen Chernin/AP

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A model presents a creation from the Rag & Bone spring 2013 collection.

Stephen Chernin/AP

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A model presents a creation from the Rag & Bone spring 2013 collection.

LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

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Joseph Altuzarra has already proven his skills with outerwear over the past few seasons. Spring 2013 was no different for the designer, who set sights on mastering the jacket this time around. In his hands, it opened up in hidden pieces and panels to be worn around the shoulders. It was a cue to (and possible courting of) the editors present, who’ve never met a jacket they want to put an arm through. Cotton railroad stripes, last popularized by Oshkosh and a prevailing trend this season, made an appearance in those jackets, elevated here through cut and crystals. When the collection opened up to eveningwear, it was just as beautiful. When the draped, fringed and Swarovski embellished almost sari-like dresses appeared – alongside knee-high Altuzarra boots – there was a noticeable hush.

KEITH BEDFORD/REUTERS

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A model presents a creation from Joseph Altuzarra’s spring 2013 collection.

KEITH BEDFORD/REUTERS

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A model presents a creation from Joseph Altuzarra’s spring 2013 collection.

Jason DeCrow/AP

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A model presents a creation from Joseph Altuzarra’s spring 2013 collection.

Jason DeCrow/AP

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A model presents a creation from Joseph Altuzarra’s spring 2013 collection.

KEITH BEDFORD/REUTERS

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With a Canadian summer in mind, designer Calla Haynes was able to ease into broadening the scope of her collection this season. Her signature prints, in variations of corals and blues that went from intense to washed-out, recalled sunsets at her lakeside retreat in Ontario. Her prints evolved this season to include dimension, literally , on a dress with 3D embroidery with petals, leaves and ostrich feathers that was a collaboration with the house of Lemarié, a Parisian specialist in feather and fabric work. The slouchy tweed suit, another piece that blossomed up close, was a departure but to look at the sharply cut shift dresses, trousers and structured tees is to see the designer really shine.

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A model presents a creation from Calla Haynes’s spring 2013 collection.

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A model presents a creation from Calla Haynes’s spring 2013 collection.

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A model presents a creation from Calla Haynes’s spring 2013 collection.

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