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all words and photos: Alyssa Lesser

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Vivienne Tam’s show in the largest tent on Saturday was packed full of dedicated fans eagerly awaiting her new fall collection. Tam’s show sought inspiration from the Chinese opera, and provided a wide array of bejeweled frocks perfect for any fall night. Standouts included beautifully pieced architectural wool coats with curved seams, brocade-and-bejeweled fringy dresses, and sparkly crocheted gowns. While some looks (particularly, a black vest with a furry collar and red Chinese symbols appliqued on back) harked much too literally on the inspiration and felt more Clueless-if-it-were-staged-in-Downtown-LA than operatic chic, the finale dresses felt unexpectedly young and luxe. While I don’t really know anyone who wears Tam’s clothes, I can definitely see a lot of my favorite young ladies decked out in those fringed party dresses.

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Charlotte Ronson’s runway venture, which took place in the tents later on Saturday night, was more exciting atmospherically than sartorially. The clothes had a military-inspired color palette and feel, with a dash of wintery intarsia and the occasional native-inspired print. Anabelle Dexter-Jones giggled adorably down the runway and exited arm in arm with Irina Lazareanu. The music was amazing, the girls were adorable, and the clothes were cute and festively Fall – but I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could walk into any store, anywhere, and find them. Ronson’s styling was admirable, but her pieces individually, on the racks, are just the same old clothes.

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