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Zoe tailors her bohemian muse for new look

The Associated Press, Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 6:45pm (PDT)

NEW YORK (AP) — Rachel Zoe showed that the relaxed glam she is known for doesn't always have to mean a bohemian maxi dress. She presented a collection at New York Fashion Week on Wednesday that was a bit more of a tailored take on "effortless cool."

The first look out was a white skirt suit — OK, it was a maxi, to-the-floor hemline — but it was the sharp styling that will linger with the audience of fashion insiders that have now seen seven days of previews for next spring.

Even the tunic and fluid pants, jumpsuit and romper that seem to fit with Zoe's core muse had more strength to them, thanks to graphic, mod, black-and-white contrasts.

The paillete-covered T-shirts and sweatshirts also added a new twist.

She said she had in mind 1960s fashion icons Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin and Charlotte Rampling. They are, she said, "glamorous all the time and that who I design for. I take my inspiration from those women and I try to translate to who I want to be today, and who people in my life want to be today and what they look like and what they want to wear."

It was Zoe's first show in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents at Lincoln Center, although she had a runway show last season across the street at a hotel.

She called the scene "controlled chaos" — one that caused her the night before to have the runway's lead hairstylist cut her hair and give her bangs. "I wanted to do fringes on the girls. I wanted to do the whole '60s thing, and she said, 'We should do it to you.' And I said yes."

Still, she found a few minutes to take in her friend Michael Kors' show. "I'm a designer and a stylist. I have been friends with Michael for like 15 years, and I think the minute I stop going to shows, then I am not styling anymore."

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