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Jordan kicked off the morning with Cynthia Steffe at 9 a.m.

NYC Fashion Week: Days 5 and 6

Jordan Dechambre-Childers, managing and fashion editor of M: Milwaukee's Lifestyle Magazine, and Bjorn Nasett, magazine stylist and hair stylist at Beauty, are on the scene at NYC Spring '09 Fashion Week Sept. 5-12. Watch for daily updates on the hottest trends as they hit the runway.

Jordan kicked off the morning with Cynthia Steffe at 9 a.m. The collection was garden-party-meets-country-club, with feminine prints and shapes mixing with fingerless gloves and black visors (both are big accessory trends for '09). Steffe's collection featured the hot spring color -- blue, in all shades -- as well as cropped jackets, high-waisted pants and skirts, shorts, leather pieces, jumpsuits, cropped slouchy pants, ruffle details and exposed knee-high tights.

We met up downtown for the Dash and Smooch shows later in the morning. Chloe Kardashian curated the Dash collection, a selection of garments from her California boutique. So-Cal casual clothing -- dolled up with sequins, of course -- started the show. Presented by Oral B, one of the models actually brushed her teeth on stage -- much to the our horror of and of our new friend, a Leo DiCaprio look-alike online journalist we met in line, whose Web site hosted a fashion show in the Brooklyn Bridge.

Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard modeled one of the more dressy items, a royal purple deep-plunge halter maxi dress by Mason. Next up was Mel B (Eddie Murphy's baby mama, a.k.a. Scary Spice) presenting the Ultimo lingerie collection. Bras, panties, corsets and the like in flirty and fun prints were paraded down the runway to the delight of the few straight guys in the audience. Mel certainly looked great, and got a roaring round of applause when she took her bow with the designer. But Beard stole the show, with a killer body for lingerie that even put the professional models to shame.

Later that afternoon, we checked out the Iodice show back at the tents. The lost city of Atlantis served as the inspiration for the collection. The looks showcased flat pleating, both vertical and horizontal, on separates as well as dresses. Pewter belts with bows were worn with many of the styles, and the color palette of teal, black, soft grey, rose and ivory supported the theme. Grecian-inspired gowns were gathered and draped with a careful eye. Accessories like booties and fingerless gloves topped off the looks.

The Joanna Mastroianni show was a welcome wash of color, which kicked off with fuchsia, bright orange, lime, red and canary yellow. The clothes were classic and ladylike, but infused a welcome burst or fashion as art with volume in the shoulders of many of the pieces -- giving an almost flower-like appearance. Never one to stray from controversy, Mastroianni even gave a nod to gay marriage as two models posed on the runway in white gowns, holding hands and gazing into each other's eyes.

Fashion and politics often go hand-in-hand, as proved by presidential daughter Barbara Bush's appearance at the Max Azria show. Sitting directly across from her, Jordan got a good look at the first daughter, who wore a low-cut purple dress and menswear-inspired blazer. Not only is she striking in person, but Barbara has tremendous style. Azria always produces a must-see show (young celebs and socialites packed the front rows), which included structured vests with cut-outs, open-back gowns, one-shoulder garments, slouchy, tapered-leg silk pants (the must-have of the season), asymmetrical hems, cut-outs and fanny pack / purses draped over the model's shoulder and attached at the hip.

The color palette was subdued but hip, with ecru, peach, sea green, pale blue, gray, sand and mocha all making an appearance. As usual, the draping of the garments was complete perfection, which has come to be expected from Azria.

Jordan ended the night downtown at the Narcisco Rodriguez show, where editors and celebs like Claire Daines, Jessica Seinfeld and Juliana Margulies rubbed elbows. His collection was streamlined, boasting simple shapes with classic patterns like Herringbone, and details of ribbons, criss-cross backs and exposed zippers. Some looks harkened to the 80s, such as the must-have sleeveless blazer and a black stretch bra under a blazer. Jordan covets Rodriguez's black silk satin and white embroidered silk gazaar dress.

We began Wednesday morning with one of our favorite designers, Nanette Lepore. And we assure you no one will be saying "no, no Nanette" for spring 2009. In an attempt to help New York's Garment District, Lepore's show decor featured the "Save the Garment Center" logo on a stage curtain, as well as on T-shirts worn by all her show assistants. Attendees even received pins with the take action logo. Politics aside, Lepore's collection -- one of our favorites of the week -- was viewed by "The Hills" star Lauren Conrad; "Entourage" actress Perrey Reeves (better known as Ari's wife); Eddie Murphy's ex, model Nicole Murphy; and John Slattery, who played the infamous politician who once pleaded with Carrie Bradshaw to urinate on him on "Sex and the City."

Using a lush garden theme as her inspiration, Lepore paraded bold yet feminine florals mixed with contrasting patterns, such as stripes, down the runway. She describes the collection as "sultry femininity," and did not disappoint. Chunky flower and beaded necklaces were paired with floral coats, beaded vests and dresses, flouncy skirts, paisley blouses, shirt dresses and more. The hippie chic collection, perfectly translated by Bumble and Bumble stylists with boho braids, featured an almost tropical color palette of poppy, hibiscus, leaf and stone. It was simply perfect.

After a brief shopping trip near Wall Street at popular Century 21, we jumped on the 4 train to Grand Central Station, where we made our way on foot to the Roosevelt Hotel's rooftop patio to view the Douglas Hannant collection. Hannant, who was a featured designer at Milwaukee's Symphony Style event in 2006, revealed a classically beautiful collection, with a hint of couture. Tweeds mingled with chiffon and Chantilly lace, while the popular rosette was a details choice on several of Hannant's garments. The embroidery was flawless. Key standouts included a powder blue / pewter strapless tulle ruffle gown that shimmered down the runway and a one-shoulder buff silk crepe goddess gown. In attendance were New York society's ladies who lunch, "Project Runway" judge Nina Garcia and Ivana Trump.

Then it was back to the tents for the Pamella Roland presentation. The vivid hues of American artist Ellsworth Kelly's paintings and line of his sculptures served as inspiration. She captured the movement perfectly, with menswear-inspired suiting and classic silhouettes, like shift dresses. Softer ombre tones were accented with a daring bright red, cobalt blue and kelly green. The ruffles, pleating and hand-beaded details, were prevalent in the collection. Without relying on trend, she has designed a modern and eclectic collection that is true to her signature feminine style. In attendance for this popular show were, Bob Guiney of "The Bachelor" fame, Nigel Barker from "America's Next Top Model" and a fabulous looking Natalie Cole.

In the blink of an eye, Bjorn was at the next show, Milly, by Michelle Smith. When the music of The Doors kicked in, it was clear something new was in the air. She presented a "hippie goes to Marrakech" collection with subtle yet psychedelic rainbow prints mixing with hand-crocheted knits. Saffron, lavender, olive, tan and chartreuse figured prominently in caftans dresses, slacks, blouses and other breezy, travel-inspired looks. Details also included military and safari influences. Accessories such as crocheted skullcaps, long tasseled necklaces, woven raffia bags, macrame belts and Middle Eastern jewelry complemented the collection. Who says the boho look is dead?


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