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Cocktail dresses get their due at Fashion Week

von Furstenberg, Luca Luca unveil modern frocks with plunging necklines
/ Source: The Associated Press

Diane von Furstenberg's spring collection of skirt suits, Bermuda shorts and, of course, wrap dresses is sophisticated yet has the designer's signature touches of flamboyance.

At her runway show Sunday night as part of New York Fashion Week, von Furstenberg dubbed this new look "La Dolce Diva," which she said takes inspiration from 1960s-era Rome.

"This collection captures a certain moment in my life ... the moment when I discovered glamour for the first time," she explained in her notes to the editors, stylists and retailers who attended the show.

An elegant off-white jersey jumpsuit with plunging Vs in both the front and back, and full palazzo-style legs was sexy in its simplicity, and a polka-dot chiffon scarf-neck halter dress was delicate while still making a bold statement.

"It was a sophisticated way to do polka-dot," said Susan Kaufmann, style editor for People magazine.

Von Furstenberg's signature wrap dresses, including a standout version in navy cotton eyelet, had fuller skirts and were paired with cork platform shoes by Christian Louboutin.

"It was not overdone and it was true to her roots," Kaufmann said.

Von Furstenberg, though, didn't get a chance to take her customary bow. A bank of lights fell onto the runway and into the audience during the finale, injuring a handful of editors who were in the front row. No one appeared to be seriously hurt.

Later in the evening at Luca Luca, designer Luca Orlandi unveiled several cocktail dresses and gowns in muted floral prints, but he kept them modern by not making the styles too frilly.

A long cotton strapless dress with a hibiscus pattern featured bunches of fabric rosettes just above the waist, and another full-length floral dress had a deep V neck and braided straps in the back.

Another standout was the strapless "Africa dress," with horizontal ribbons of beads in different earth tones around the bodice and starbursts of beads around the full skirt.

There also were looks that were wearable in everyday life: A loose baby-doll tank top in the hibiscus print paired with white linen Bermuda shorts, and a navy skirt suit embroidered with daisies.

Orlandi embraced many of the emerging trends of Fashion Week, including seersucker fabric, dresses with beaded or belted waistbands, cardigan sweaters and slip dresses topped with sheer or lace overlays. His palette featured sage and mint greens, apricot and faded red.

Tuleh opened its runway show with a series of looks in dove gray, silver and white. A shimmery silver car coat was one of several chic spring coats in the collection that might force the fashion set to trade in their hoodies and shawls.

The cardigans at Tuleh were short and boxy, which complement the season's higher waistlines.

Fashion Week continues through Friday, with singer Gwen Stefani presenting the finale.