Olympus New York Fashion Week: Thursday
I was really excited to receive an invitation to Abaete, a newer line with a very feminine look, inspired by designer Laura Poretzky's Portugese-French heritage. I was even more excited to see the kickass gift bag, which included full-size Redken hair products, pretty red nail polish, and an eyeshadow duo from Nars (it helps to have corporate sponsors--Abaete produces a cute line of shoes for Payless, which I'm sure chipped in for the delicious swag). And when I saw I was seated directly across from "noted fashion photographer" Nigel Barker from America's Next Top Model, well, let's just say I was a bit worried I'd be unable to focus on the clothing. Thankfully, the clothes were so beautiful that Mr. Barker did not distract me. Well, except he kept checking out the models' asses as they walked by, which I found rather amusing. Anyway, Laura Poretsky kind of does her own thing, which is good, because the designs she sent down the runway were not only pretty and feminine, but also--the million-dollar word--wearable. Take, for example, this great print dress with a universally flattering shape. The shoes, by the way, are all from next spring's collection for Payless. Sign me up!

There were quite a few swimsuits in this show, and I was delighted to see this one--a retro maillot. Granted, I could probably do without the floppy roses on the bust, but I loved the shape, and I'm tempted to ditch my bikini for this one next year.

This was one of my favorite looks in the show. It's totally that "rich hippie" look that many of us (um, myself included) try so hard to achieve. This is luxe--the satin, the sequins--and easygoing at the same time. Perfect.

Not that the show wasn't immune to the current runway trends. This jumpsuit (as I said before, I'm a sucker for one-piece dressing) had metallic polka dots, very similar to what Marc Jacobs sent down the runway on Monday. I thought it was adorable.

Volume turned up in several looks as well. I loved this bubble coat--the black and white color scheme made it sort of mod looking, but the bow made it ladylike as well. In other words, it's a pretty way to do the voluminous look.

This was the last look, and I'm sad you can't see all of the beautiful detail--pleating and draping and pretty rosettes in the back. It's very "I'm a rich widow mourning in St. Tropez," and I loved how it was styled, with the big floppy hat.

The funny thing was, as I was leaving the show, I realized that sitting a few seats down from Nigel Barker was Nik, America's Next Top Model's runner-up from Cycle 5. Coincidence...or no?

When I scored a seat at Joanna Mastroianni's show, I decided Thursday was my lucky swag day, as the gift bag at that show was a huge canvas boat tote filled with Shu Uemura deep sea facial mist, an Atkins bar, a coupon for Completely Bare, and a cute little notebook. Well done! The run sheet included a rather dramatic press release discussing the inspiration and direction of the show, and after reading that, the looks seemed rather...tame. They were also for, I'd say, a slightly older client, but, hey, fashion isn't just for 25-year-olds. This silhouette, for example, kept turning up, and I think it would flatter a wide variety of body types. Also, note the pockets in the skirt. The print was pretty too.

I liked the clean, black and white palette of this gown, as well as the unfussy shape.

Of course, volume turned up on this runway too. I think the two-piece construction of this is nice and practical. The skirt had some lovely embroidery. And, of course, I'm a sucker for green.

The focus was on gowns and dresses for this show, but the few pants that she featured were skinny. I love this model, too--you don't see a redhead too often in the modeling industry. Her name is Cintia.

This was probably my favorite look of the show--the color was gorgeous (and would photograph well, for red carpet purposes) and the shape was a bit more youthful than the rest of the collection, not that there's anything wrong with that.

I knew it was time to leave when, on my way out, I literally ran into Janice Soprano (a.k.a. Aida Turturro), who in turn gave me a dirty look. I apologized as earnestly as possible. After all, I don't want her to send Bobby out to whack me.

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