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Refinery29 Dispatch: Friday's Shows

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Here, Refinery29 weighs in on the shows that took place on the third blood-tingling day of Fashion Week. And now, what you need to know about Friday's runways.

While the concept of beauty may be debated at this week's various art openings in Chelsea, there was one local display where the ideal was alive and well. "Beautiful" is the best word to describe this flowing collection of gowns, convertible coats and sun dresses from Thailand's Thakoon Panichgul. His choice of patterns and textiles was outstanding. A green-and-blue striped pattern appeared on several weightless, pleated dresses at an angle that made the familiar lines come alive. A Japanese-print motif evolved through clear blue strapless tanks and slouchy shorts, eventually transforming into a shimmering black on matte black form used for a jacquard cocktail dress and a cinched-front number. From the asymmetric hang of Panichgul's tuxedo jacket to the countless acute-angled seams on a yellow shift dress, the cuts were as elegant and deft as the color choices.

It was a largely Danish crowd that gathered at Scandinavia House last night to watch Camilla Staerk showcase her S/S ’08 collection, which according to Staerk herself, was inspired by “the women of Woody Allen’s Manhattan and Stardust Memories, Muriel Hemingway, Meryl Streep, and Charlotte Rampling.” This meant plenty of high waists, some great short-shorts, and lots of sexy racerbacks. The collection was set in neutrals such as creamy beige and various shades of gray—pinks, greens, and yellows added some summer flair. An itty-bitty fitted black leather jacket was the epitome of Camilla Staerk—feminine but raw.

Unlike some audiences this week, one got the impression that many who gathered in SoHo for Maria Cornejo's spring/summer showing were not only interested in wearing what they saw, they could actually afford to buy it without an editorial discount. The label that has cultivated a reputation for interesting geometries, experimental fabrics, and arresting patterns displayed some impressive pieces. Among the gray, blue, and orange constructions, a silk hexagon-patterned jumpsuit caught our eye, as did a metallic linen top and an off-shoulder bubble dress. Maria Cornejo has a unique ability to make forms that should appear heavy with internal construction (particularly a rhombus-shaped dress) seem light and airy.

Though Obedient Sons titled their newest collection "The Kingstown Mutiny," designers Swaim Hutson and Christopher Ryan continued to push their way further toward mainstream marketability and away from their politically-charged roots. The sight of Obedient Son's backer, bassist Mike Drint of Green Day, greeting visitors at their chosen venue, The Women's National Republican Club, caused a touch of cognitive dissonance. All that went away when the clean-cut collection of prep-school rugby wear, dining-hall togs, and spring-prom jackets strolled by to the sound of Fugazi. Straight-cut twill shorts, flattering sweatpants, gray club jackets, and cream sleeveless cardigans worked well on the men, but even better when re-proportioned for the girls. In a season where thin lapels and skinny ties have given way to a full preppy explosion, Obedient Sons have cornered the market on school pride with knit ties and honest-to-goodness letterman jackets.

Brooklyn's Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra's collection, as pretty as it was, fell a bit flat. A trip into the bedrooms of the early 20th century, the dressing-gown-inspired spring/summer Costello Tagliapietra line seemed like inside politics—well-executed but far too quiet. One gentle drop-waist dress after another whispered by in colors so pale and muted, they could easily be lost in a crowd. A pink number with a cape was charming and a brown camisole number was equally sweet. It was, however, interesting to see designs that would have fit perfectly on the cover of Vogue when the publication was still illustrated (such as a slim gray dress with leather details).

—Refinery29 reporting by Gabriel Bell, Naomi Nevitt, and Natalia Rachlin; photo credit