New York Spring/Summer 2004 Collections: The Sunny Side Of 7th

Additional articles:
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Spring 2004 Season

Fall/Winter 2003 Report
Spring/Summer 2003 Report

Please note: numbers in ( ) in the text below are links to photos. All photos by Randy Brooke. This article is best viewed with browser set to "full screen".

We may not be living in that "kinder, gentler nation" former President George W. Bush once hoped we would, but from the look of things on the runways during New York Fashion Week (which also marked the 10th anniversary of 7th on Sixth and the Bryant Park Tents which centralized the shows), fashion designers are doing their part to at least make it appear that way.

In general, the mood was soft, romantic, easy, upbeat, fresh, feminine, and above all "pretty" - a word that summed up many collections. Not the least of which was that of Oscar de la Renta- whose appealing lineup was filled with all the traditional clichés colors, shapes, patterns that define the term. (1, 2, 3)

Primary Colors:

Black was hardly the predominant shade as it had been for fall, so when it was used, it seemed like a welcome respite (it did look great at Ralph Rucci and Narciso Rodriguez - especially in the form of his peplum suit- where artful cutting, seaming, and tailoring played up the shade to its best effect). In place of black are happy, feel - good colors that range from shades of white, nude, tan, to candy colored and ice cream hues, dusty pastels, and crayon box brights (with the surprise appearance of yellow).

But while yellow may well be the 'new black' and it's certainly an upbeat, fun shade that lends itself perfectly to rainwear and outwear, in my opinion, it is not always the easiest or most flattering color to wear. On the other hand, red looks wonderful on almost everyone and ALWAYS stands out in a crowd as evidenced by the recent shows. Some of the most interesting and modern cuts were presented on the runway of up and comer Maria Carnejo who designs for the label Zero. ( 4, 5)