By Alison McLaughlin reporting from Fashion Week in New York City

rebecca taylor Fashion Week Spotlight: Rebecca Taylor

Actresses Jenna Ushkowitz, Shenae Grimes, Michelle Trachtenberg and Louise Roe attend the Rebecca Taylor Spring 2011 fashion show on Sept. 12, 2010, in New York City. (credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Rebecca Taylor – Studio

I’m starting to sense a theme here. Neutral is the “color” of the coming Spring/Summer season: Beige, Taupe, Ecru, Sand, Fawn, Biscuit, Oatmeal, Camel.

Rebecca Taylor’s take on the now obvious neutral palate that dominates the coming Spring/Summer season took a trip back to 1970 with a breezy collection that sang a hymn to the styles of a simpler time. Waistlines were pulled up high to the… waist, if you can imagine such a thing in these hip huggy times. Shorts, skirts and wicked flared jeans were all taken to a higher level and it created a flattering, womanly silhouette all around. Tight in all the right places mom jeans these ain’t. Other throw back elements that peppered the feel-good line included patch pockets, snake skin and polka-dot – either in a blouse form or pleated maxi skirt, the whisper light transparency kept things sexy. Healthy jolts of orange and pink were added here and there to keep things from getting dull with sprinkles of crystal embellishment for subtle shimmer.

Real Housewife of New York Ramona Singer was front row and has been a Taylor fan for years. “Even before the TV show” she gushed “I was collecting her stuff. I’m petite and curvy”, revealed the spunky housefrau, “and I love the way her clothes fit my body – I need clothes that fit!”

Max Azria – Theater

The second of three collections showing this season Max Azria’s signature line took the riot of taupe, white and black that dominates the season and allowed intricate piecework to define his eponymous high-end label. Diaphanous gowns of ivory, jet and biscuit sailed down the catwalk with effortless grace. Easy sophistication is what Max Azria is known for and notable guests such as Solange Knowles and Kelly Rowland seemed to approve of the clean lines and complex network of straps and geometrical cuts.

Carman Marc Valvo – NASDAQ Building, Times Square

“I wanted to recreate the idea of showing in an old Paris Couture house,” says designer Carman Marc Valvo of his decision to show at the NASDAQ building, “it’s intimate, it’s in the round, it’s in the heart of New York City and this year,” he enthuses, “we’re broadcasting live on the screen so everyone outside can have a front row seat. It’s instant fashion! Valvo’s return to glamour was presented in forms of midnight black and pure white evening gowns and dresses, carrying an early 1960’s motif to the modern age.

The View’s Sherri Shepherd, a devout follower of Valvo, came out to support the man who dressed her for her appearance at this year’s Academy Awards. “What I love is that his clothes are true to size,” she raved, “I don’t know what they’re doing over there in France, taking a size 6 and putting a 16 sticker on it…”


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