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After Hundreds Of Shows, What Will Work In Stores?

"I hope it's a little out of the box," Costa said. "It's urban but it's a mix of cultures."

Costa said the mix of looks reflected all the sights and textures of New York when he first arrived here in the 1980s. "I was inspired by a lot of energy," he said.

"Sometimes we forget as we get older what New York is. We think New York isn't the same, but it is the same â¿¿ we've changed," he said.

He covered a lot of ground. The opening sand-colored wrap tank top and wrap skirt were signature minimalism, save the flash of pink lining, but over the next 35 outfits Costa offered a luxe, refined snakeskin tank and skirt; twill painter's pants with exaggerated pockets, cuff and rear; and a black woven leather jacket with multicolored thread fringe.

___

RACHEL ZOE

It wasn't a coincidence that so many fashion watchers at Zoe's show were snapping photos of the models' feet each time a particularly comfortable-looking shoe â¿¿ a glittery metallic Birkenstock-style sandal â¿¿ came by. Anyone who's been wearing stilettos all week is now blistered and bandaged.

The shoe epitomized what Zoe seemed to be going for in her clothes, too: Outfits that you can travel far and wide in. Either on safari, or just out on the streets.

The designer "takes the modern jet set girl on a safari," according to her publicity material. "A traveling muse wearing her femininity with effortless confidence."

In the clothes, that translated to a mix of trendy and classic items. Leather was prominent.

One suit, in a luscious chocolate brown, had a belted safari-style jacket over short shorts. There was an appealing belted leather mini-dress. There were up-to-there miniskirts but also long, lacy dresses. There were slouchy satin pants, and comfy sweaters. And there was a good deal of denim â¿¿ distressed, in short shorts or baggy pants, and not distressed, as in a suit with a denim coat and high-waisted pants.

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