Critics Applaud Léger, Preen, and Karen Walker

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From left: Hervé Léger, Preen, and Karen Walker. Photo: Imaxtree

We don't know if there's something cheery in Bryant Park's water, but there's no shortage of praise from the critics for this week's showings. This time around, an edgy take on Léger's classic look earns love, Preen's bright and brave vision impresses, and Karen Walker's separates are sure to sell.

Hervé Léger
"The road to a rousing standing ovation at Hervé Léger certainly wasn't easy," winked FWD, referencing the pair of models who stumbled at the mercy of their towering heels, but "the colors were rich, the fits impressive, and fresh prints abounded." Though Azria didn't stray from the "bankable" bondage dress, Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily praised the dose of "new and novel" contrasting fabrics and edgy cutouts. Though these garments are made for a model's curves ("the term 'second skin' still applies," cautioned British Vogue), critics still found the body-conscious silhouette sexy. Style.com and British Vogue both swooned over a "knockout" crystal beaded snake-print dress, while WWD thought Azria "kicked it up an edgy notch" with padded shoulders — which more than one reviewer noted were reminiscent of Balmain. In all, reviewers agreed that the successful show "deserved the applause the starlets gave it."


Preen
Preen sent out a "sexy, spot-on," collection of bold, futuristic designs. WWD called the "racy peekaboo dresses" fit for glamazons, and British Vogue declared that the neon colors that cropped up late in the show perfectly embodied the label's "Bright Young Thing–meets–Brave New World ethos." Cathy Horyn of the Times lauded the "effortless" look of cutouts and appliqués. Though Style.com predicted that many of the skimpy, rainbow-bright looks wouldn't sell in the "real world," it envisions a place for them on the red carpet.

Watch a slideshow of the Preen collection.


Karen Walker
Critics were pleased with Karen Walker's showing, though some pieces hit the mark more than others. British Vogue thought the "cracked" theme was taken a bit too literally in the fractured-looking prints, sniffing, "They were cute, but a tad kitsch." Reviewers noticed that Walker sent out more dresses than usual, and those sporting "a princess sleeve on steroids" were right on the built-up shoulder trend, noted Style.com. But WWD asserted that it was her speckled separates that "held the spotlight," particularly a wool blazer paired with a jersey tee. British Vogue agreed that the separates "hit that perfect boy-meets-girl sweet spot," and Style.com called them "sellable yet quirky."

Watch a slideshow of the Karen Walker collection.