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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Designer Eli Tahari poses with models backstage at the Elie Tahari Fall 2010 Fashion Show.
Designer Eli Tahari poses with models backstage at the Elie Tahari Fall 2010 Fashion Show.

NYC Fashion Week: Day 6

NEW YORK -- The tents were alive in the morning hours with chatter regarding the possibility of Madonna (finally!) starting her own clothing line for Macy's.

In true blue Madge fashion, the clothing line would be called Material Girl, and the lingerie line Truth or Dare. Only time will tell if the collection comes to fruition, but it seems about time for a woman who has been an international trendsetter for 25 years to capitalize on her creative fashion sense. Fingers crossed!

The shows: Elie Tahari, Badgley Mischka, Pamella Roland, Thuy, Tibi, Boudoir D'huitres, Toni Francesc.

The scene: Who wouldn't want to go to Berlin Fashion Week? While tent-goers had a chance this morning to win a trip to the coveted shows via Lufthansa airlines' Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week sweepstakes, you can enter as well. Log onto lufthansa-usa.com/fashion to enter.

The prize is worth the minute of typing time: Two round-trip tickets to Berlin, three nights at the Hilton Berlin, a three-day Mercedes-Benz S-Class car rental and access to runway shows and the hospitality lounge.

The celebrities: Joan Rivers, Alfre Woodard, Shiri Appleby, Mena Suvari, Brooke Shields, Nigel Barker, Olivia Palermo, as well as every reality star on TV today.

The trends: Elie Tahari showed wearable and well-constructed pieces in two collections: one for women and one for men. The men's line boasted tailored separates (no baggy this fall, guys), a color palette of black, gray and blue, matching wool ties and shirts, barely-there plaids and deflated puffer vests. The women's line also had a menswear feel, with wide leg black trousers and leather, but was peppered with ladylike touches such as collar detailing, wool capes, ruffled vests and fur handbags ... The Badgley Mischka show was the day's standout, thanks to the pair trademark Oscar-worthy gowns that flowed, shimmered and shined with every step. The second half of the show, however, featured some edgier pieces. But it was the sparkle that tied it all together: huge rhinestone cuff bracelets, statement necklaces, belts with jewels; even the tweed hood on one of the jackets was encrusted with jewels ... Pamella Roland is still making a name for herself in the mainstream fashion world, but is clearly a darling of celebrities and socialites alike. Her models kicked off the show wearing intricate bead masks with stunning gowns and dresses in abstract prints, as well as rich magenta and plum. Jeweled brooches were strategically placed on dresses, skirts and fur wraps. The last piece -- an intricate confection of a wedding gown that proved difficult for the model to maneuver (she got caught in the fabric, but delicately unhinged herself to the delight of the crowd) -- that sealed her place in fashion's elite ... I was a bit disappointed by the Thuy collection, which I found clearly unwearable and incredibly unflattering. How do you make a size minus zero model look fat? Put her in a dress or skirt with the volume in the front. And putting fur trim on summer fabrics does not make them wearable for fall ... Things looked up at Tibi, where sequined cardigans and slight bubble skirts shared the runway with hip-length furs, long jersey dresses, cropped wool pants, bustier tops (with long-sleeved Ts layered beneath) and watercolor patterns. Tibi also used a touch of front volume in skirts and dresses, but it was done in the perfect proportion to not add bulk to the woman wearing it ... The Boudoir D'huitres show opened with a bang: A live opera performance that set the scene for the love and death theme of the show. While her design aesthetic was clever, the garments presented as cheap, which sullied the show ... It was quite the opposite situation at the final show of the day, Toni Francesc. He brought the idea of artificial life to the live stage -- complete with briefcases and belts adorned with computer ships. Although many of the pieces were Matrix-worthy, the garments were incredibly well constructed and the presentation was spot on. It definitely makes you wonder just how well society is merging technology with human emotion, and the affect that ideology will have on the future of the human race. But at least we know what to wear.

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