There were several designers whose answer to the spring season was a touch of wanderlust.
For Michael Kors, the destination was an African safari, and the highlight was a group of tie-dyed pieces in vivid shades of sienna, cinnamon and antelope. If only Kors had gone deeper in that direction instead of falling back on zebra-striped cliches and showing distressed (read: holey) cashmere sweaters that will no doubt cost a fortune.
Donna Karan was inspired by a year traveling in Haiti and had Wyclef Jean in the front row to prove it. Mask print circle skirts, color-blocked body-skimming jersey gowns with gold metal accents, wood and Lucite necklaces abounded. And yet it all seemed a bit out of touch. A colleague described the look aptly: "Port au Princess."
Thakoon Panichgul was taken with cowboys and Indians -- East Indians, that is. The result was a clever cross-cultural mash-up that married Western style with India's textile and embroidery tradition, and put an original twist on the season's print trend.
A Western shirt was done in an Indian paisley, for example, and a turquoise silk shirt dress with black lace details. A country-sweet red eyelet shirt was paired with a black tux jacket and short paisley dance skirt, and khaki duster coat with crystal and pearl embroidery over a gold floor length skirt.
L.A.-based Jeremy Scott had a Western hoedown of a different sort, with men (and women) in cheeky backless chaps and Adidas "cowboy boot" high-top sneakers. The crowd was as wonderfully weird as the collection. One guy arrived on roller skates.
On the runway, a sunglasses-print cropped blouse topped fringed Daisy Dukes, and a metal mesh bandana was tied into a scarf top over a high-waist denim skirt.
There were cow and cactus prints, dangling hearts and question marks, so many question marks. In other words, it was a darn good Jeremy Scott show.
New York Fashion Week: Proenza Schouler
New York Fashion Week: Gap
New York Fashion Week: Narciso Rodriguez
-- Booth Moore
Top photos: Looks from the Michael Kors spring 2012 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Middle photos: Looks from the Donna Karan spring 2012 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Mike Coppola / Getty Images
Middle photos: Looks from the Thakoon spring 2012 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images; Karly Domb Sadof / Associated Press
Bottom photos: Looks from the Jeremy Scott spring 2012 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images