By Debra Simon

This season is all about escape. Fashion is on a flight of fancy: fabrics float, colors shine, body parts flash. Pieces need passports. Styles are fit for fairy-tale characters or ‘60s castaways. From frothy party frocks and girls-gone-wild shirts to ladylike suits and color-drenched gowns, New York’s runways featured a riot of styles. So, relax in the Triangle’s beautiful April weather, and enjoy this backstage pass to fashionable whimsy at the Big Apple’s spring shows.


Triangle women love to paint the town cotton-candy pink, tropical punch, sunny yellow, neon blue, juicy orange and other splashy spots on the rainbow. This season, we’ll have our pick of bold brights because designers dove into their Crayola boxes for inspiration.

(Carolina Herrera, left)


Blossoms are bursting out all over the Triangle – and now they’ve crept into our closets. Spring’s styles are adorned with buds, petals, stems, even entire bouquets. Arrange yourself accordingly in flashy, oversized prints or small, painterly patterns.


Bollywood isn’t just at the artsy cinema in Cary. Asia and Africa travel to North Carolina in a steamer trunk of safari looks, kente-style fabrics, feathers and beads, colonial khaki, jungle prints, and other romantic notions of the other sides of the world.

(Oscar de la Renta, right)


It’s the summer of love all over again with tie-dye shirts, psychedelic prints, long dresses, fringe and all things groovy. Don’t dig out your peasant skirt for Sunday brunch at Raleigh’s Five Points just yet. To be a righteous cat, think “bohemian chic,” man.


We’ll leave the question of whether see-through clothing makes it to the Triangle left to be seen. Models on the runways in various stages of undress exposed the naked truth in sheer layers, peek-a-boo insets and transparent panels.

(Chloe, left)


Gender-bending suits present a dashing alternative to girly-wear. In this season’s version of the classic, masculine meets feminine as borrowed-from-the-boys tailoring marries softer details.

Also on the runways...

Earthy tones…one-shoulder tops…pencil skirts…asymmetrical dresses…thin belts…splashy patterns…metallic…wide-leg pants…high waists…sequins… black & white…scarves…navy & white…harem pants…nautical…fluid fabrics…abstract expressionism…pleating…natural materials…halter tops & dresses…sculptural effects…ruffles & frills…pretty blouses…color blocking…strong prints…embroidered tops…geometric…sparkle…patterns…polka dots…draping…shimmer…lace…twists & folds …

Fashion photos courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.