Where Some Designers Get Their Ideas

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Kate Betts dishes the dirt on the new lineup for spring

• The Three D's of Fashion
For designers like Diane Von Furstenberg and Thakoon Panichgul, determination equals success- 9/11/06

• The Master of Mood
The Marc Jacobs show is about more than clothes. The designer reminds us that we shouldn't take fashion too seriously- 9/12/06

• Dressing like a Goddess
Several designers, including some runway rookies, are presenting romantic visions of what women should wear- 9/13/06

• Where Some Designers Get Their Ideas
This season collections had a wide range of inspirations, from 18th century painters to 1980s hipsters- 9/14/06

• Signature Looks
From Vera Wang's ethereal ready-to-wear layers to Zac Posen's glamourous looks for the red carpet- 9/15/06

• Creating the Mirage
Designers Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren have the skills to transport us to exotic locales- 9/16/06

Current Issue

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•Who's Got the Power?
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Every designer has to look somewhere for inspiration, and this season the sources of ideas are as varied as the designers themselves. Michael Kors showed a sleek collection of slightly 1980s-style stretchy bodysuits and slick, oversize jackets and sweaters. The layering theme he tackled paid homage to dancers, specifically the Broadway kind and the appropriate soundtrack mixed in music from A Chorus Line.On a completely different track, Peter Som looked to the 18th-century French artist Jean-Antoine Watteau for a beautiful color palette of watery blues and grays. Som's opening number, a dove gray jacquard coat, was a hit. And his finale of evening dresses in washed organdy will undoubtedly leave his front row of socialite fans singing his tune.

The day also belonged to a handful of outsiders who have come to New York to strut their stuff. Tia Cibani of Ports 1961, a label based in Xiamen, China, showed a soft, pretty collection inspired by the gauchos of Argentina. And Diesel honcho Renzo Rosso pumped up the volume with his 1980s-style high-waisted skinny jeans and blousons — all in white and gold. Finally a trio of California surfer dudes who go by the name of Trovato presented their collection of preppy chic polo shirts and cotton canvas clam-diggers in a tableau vivant that was meant to evoke an estate auction. They sing their tune by way of telling elaborate stories that give the straightforward merch a sexier context. This season the plot consisted of a rich, irreverent couple who had lost their fortune and had to sell their belongings for cash.