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As New York Fashion Week draws to a close, read our review of our two favourite shows this season.

Alice & Olivia

Designer Stacey Bendet perfectly summed up her Spring/Summer 2014 collection with the words ‘preppy meets pretty’; a contemporary commercial fusion of classic all-American collegiate style and prom queen femininity.

This ethos was perhaps most evident in the starched white collars of streamlined polo shirts peeking out from under the necks of fine jumpers and styled with flirty mini-skirts. Ornately beaded and embroidered cropped jackets added a distinctive Alice & Olivia twist.

Transcending evening wear with a nudge to Upper East Side daytime dressing, the collection provided an array of easy to style separates that could be dressed up or dressed down accordingly; embellished blouses, tailored shorts and pleated A-line skirts stood out with their versatility.

Straying towards the ‘pretty’ side of the collection, loyal disciples to the brand would be satisfied with the display of whimsical lace and beaded cocktail dresses.

Helmut Lang

Michael and Nicole Colovos gave a nod to the nineties –perhaps more appropriately, Helmut Lang’s iconic collections from the decade – for their Spring/Summer 2013 outing for the directional brand.

A stark black and white contrast was punctuated with pink, perfectly continuing the current season’s love affair with the feminine hue. This fresh and sharp colour palette harked back to the luxe minimalism that Lang heralded two decades ago.

Staying true to the clean structures, there were no distinctive prints alike to previous seasons. Instead, the designer duo sought inspiration from artist Wade Guyton, inserting sharp straight lines and geometrical organza panels onto their designs.

Silhouettes were loosely structured; boxy slip dresses, languid blazer jackets and softly tailored trousers spoke of a not so distant past with a contemporary twist offered by discreet origami folds.

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