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.