New York City Fashion Week Spring 09: Nicole Miller

What: Nicole Miller Runway Show, Salon, New York City Fashion Week Spring 09

The Lowdown: Citing voodoo as an influence for this Spring 09 collection, Nicole Miller “>Nicole Miller brings a little island mystique and a lot of sophisticated sensibility to the runway this time around. Models were swathed in island-flavored fabrics in tastefully muted palettes (think plum, olive, teal, mustard, cream), featuring a mix of feminine and menswear elements, in the form of knee-length to floor-grazing dresses (the former) and vests, jackets, and hats (the latter). As a counterpoint, black and gray figured largely as well, in everything from the aforementioned vests, to tops, dresses, jackets, pants, you name it. Accessory highlights? Long bold beaded necklaces, lots and lots of fedora/pork pie-esque hats (worn quirkily angled), and softly-hued gladiator-inspired sandals . . .

Budget Solution: The subtle colors and emphasis on black are far cry from the eye-popping bright hues of last spring and summer, but bring an element of elegance and sophistication that’s equally refreshing, we think (though we’ll see how we feel after a winter of black and tweed . . .). We kind of love the idea of decking ourselves out in island-inspired dresses that make us look like we’re actually from there, not just tourists. Style notes for the budget fashionista? Pick up some pieces now—like the fedoras, black jackets and vests, gladiator sandals on end of the summer clearance (like this canvas fedora from Forever21 and this strappy platform sandal at Newport News), and think simple—this is a look in which the garment, and not a flurry of fussy accessories, is the focus.

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