Dancer Chic

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The New York Sun

Michael Kors brought a sense of dance fever to his spring collection. But that’s to not imply a disco sensibility.This was an homage to dancers, “A Chorus Line,” and the life in the studio. Inspiration came from the simple pieces that dancers wear to rehearsal — and from the stars themselves. The result was a sleek, body-conscious collection in black, tan, pink, and neutrals that was presented to the best runway music of the week: samples from the original cast recording of “A Chorus Line”spliced in with Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” and more.

Several dresses were named after famous dancers. The “Fonteyn” dress was a glamorous black V-neck number with a tan belt. A soft pink mini dress in silk chiffon, accented with a simple black bow, was dubbed the “Farrell” dress. For serious drama, there was the “Graham” gown: a high-neck jersey gown with a plunging back and a hem that swept the floor.

Of course, ballerina looks — such as leotard tops and prim wrap cardigans — look great on dancers and models who are rail thin. But there were plenty of looks to accommodate the curves of real women. A pair of black pants was paired with a simple white wrap shirt. A black strapless dress with a tan belt was shown with a pair of black leggings. A smattering of pieces were shown in grey and nude, but the bulk kept to the notion of glamorous dancers onstage and backstage.The best of the nude pieces was a crystal-beaded gown with a shiny gold belt. Another sparkler was a nude shift dress in a kimono shape, as well as a silvery shift with a cowl neck.

Other offerings yesterday went in both casual and couture directions. Designer Zang Toi chose to forgo a traditional show this season and invited guests to his studio on 57th Street for showings. This season, he’s keeping to a palette of ivory and black, with just a few pieces in peach with beaded needlepoint in the shape of a bouquet of flowers.

One white sleeveless shirt was covered in mother-ofpearl beaded flowers. Paired with a full, taffeta shirt, it was a sumptuous ball gown; when paired with cream trousers, it was just the right mix for an uptown hostess. A beautiful black-on-white velvet print made a robe look like the stuff of royalty; the same print was transferred onto the skirt of a silk chiffon ball gown. The ultimate stunner, however, was the Auntie Mame robe in sheer peach chiffon with silk fringe at the wrists and embroidery at the hem. The core Zang Toi client will have plenty with which to be enticed.

On the more casual side of the spectrum was Converse by John Varvatos. The designer has been collaborating with Converse on this contemporary line for men and women for two seasons and the results are an aggressive mix of sporty and urban.”Converse for me has always been athletic meets rock and roll,” Mr. Varvatos said. Several pieces used design elements of workout wear and transposed them onto cargo pants or skirts. One pair of cropped silver pants for women had a tie-up waist and a silky material that made them look like a pair of football paints gone sexy. Stripes accented several shirts that were paired under vests or tanks. For guys, the jeans were skinny in black and white. Hoodies and T-shirts were rocker-style in their devil-may-care attitude. And of course, there were Converse sneakers on all the boys and girls.

The New York Sun

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