NEW YORK -- The simple things can be the hardest to do in fashion, because you have to do them well.
Take the white shirt. Designers Peter Som and Max Azria both said a plain white button-down shirt is their favorite thing to see on a woman, and versions of it have been on nearly every catwalk during the previews of Spring 2014 at New York Fashion Week.
"Ease isn’t easy," echoed Jason Wu, who showed feather-light and sometimes sheer slip dresses that were carefully constructed.
Lucky magazine Editor in Chief Eva Chen wore a white button-down to previews on Friday and said the versions popping up on runways -- whether as detail peeking out from a dress or reflecting spare 90s minimalism -- are "nothing if not wearable -- with jeans and ballet slippers, with a ballgown, and everything in between."
"This season, when it comes to choosing a white shirt, it IS all about the tweaks and the details." she said.
As if fashion fans didn’t already know his name Alexander Wang spelled it all out for them at his runway show Saturday.
Wang came out with uncharacteristic crisp and clean looks. Think of the cotton miniskirts and cropped button-downs that his downtown muse would wear if they were invited to the country club over a weekend.
Eventually, though, those morphed into laser-cut leather, which seems more of a fit for his customer.
Prabal Gurung’s spring collection was built on the idea of "the idealized woman."
But don’t confuse Gurung’s feminine muse with a girly one: The sheath dresses with unexpected cutouts and harnesses, and the pearlescent pink shirtdress and sky-blue draped dress with a cascading back ruffle were more chic than sweet.
A new belle of the ball might have stepped off the Marissa Webb runway.
Webb’s collection is quickly becoming a favorite. One of the first outfits was a slim-cut, slightly sheer top and a blush-colored blouse with a men’s style -- but definitively feminine in silk -- tie that was worn with a high-waist, bell-shape skirt.
Nicole Miller’s springtime fashion statement hinges on a patchwork of color. Forget subtly.
The first look out was a slim sheath covered in a zigzag mix of flowers, shattered glass and stripes -- and touches of "powernet," sort of like a mesh.
Many of the super-skinny jeans that followed were distressed, and they were paired with a beaded denim jacket or crinkled leather one.
Never mind that she normally dresses young women who can get away with fluttery miniskirts every day of the week, Rebecca Taylor put old-school work wear to work in her spring collection.
She showed perforated bomber jackets, denim T-shirts and carpenter pants.