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New York Fashion Week: The Row by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

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New York City feels like a police state with everyone on high alert because of the Sept. 11 anniversary, vehicle checks and armed officers patrolling. But it was an island of calm inside the wood-paneled dance performance space at the Baryshnikov Dance Center Friday, where Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen delivered the most sophisticated collection yet for their high-end label the Row.

Their modus operandi has always been ease, and this season, that mood lent itself to ethereal pale layers of white and seafoam green, with organic-looking details, including jingling mother-of-pearl shells embroidered on the front of an apron top, to chiffon swirls on a loose dress.

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Long tunics (which could also function as dresses) were layered over sheer white pants, and a cropped vest over a long wispy blouse with trousers. Just as relaxed were printed pajama-like pants worn with a luxe pale pink silk robe and tassel belt. For evening, what could be more effortlessly elegant than a white linen tuxedo, or a caftan with intricate gold embroidery?.

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"We wanted to create a sense of grandeur and calm," Ashley Olsen said of the collection. As crazy as their lives are, the Olsens always seem to project that same sense. And, their pragmatic approach to design is starting to remind me more and more of Giorgio Armani's. And I mean that in the very best way.

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-- Booth Moore

Photos: Looks from The Row collection shown during New York Fashion Week 2011. Credit: The Row

 
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