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McCarroll makes journey from TV to runway

Jay McCarroll's collection, one of the most anticipated runway shows at New York fashion week, joined a group of other first-timers to watch.  By Bruno J. Navarro.
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Jay McCarroll wowed the crowd.

With a collection that reflected the flamboyant, edgy style that won him honors as America’s next top designer on Bravo’s first season of “Project Runway,” his debut drew a standing ovation Friday, as New York Fashion Week drew to a close.

“Transport,” McCarroll’s first solo runway show since his televised victory 18 months ago, combined a 1960s-futuristic aesthetic — multicolored patchwork, oversized eyewear and space helmets — with retro, hot-air-balloon prints and a beehive-hairdo finale. His approach created a look uniquely his own, which plants him squarely as one of the visionaries for the 21st century.

Now, if only the purchasing public agrees.

McCarroll pulled out all the stops with a broad range of close-cropped jackets, capri cargo pants and a jumper, all bedecked in a variety of quilts, solids, patchwork and prints in a variety of fabrics. The Lehman, Pa., native, who once volunteered at an animal shelter, eschewed fur and leather, a stance that garnered him sponsorship from the Humane Society of the United States for a show that easily costs $100,000 at the tents in Manhattan’s Bryant Park.

The four current finalists at “Project Runway” also showed their creations — Michael Knight, his exquisitely tailored looks; a very pregnant Laura Bennett, a collection heavy on black lace and accented with faux fur, fringes and feathers; Jeffrey Sebelia, who softened his approach for the final ensembles; and Uli Herzner, who mixed animal prints, shimmer and even a tie-dyed dress. The winner will be announced Oct. 11.

Among the other designers showing for the first time at New York Fashion Week, the following names are ones to watch for future seasons.

Sabyasachi — This line incorporated mid-knee dresses and skirts with ornate edges and detailing that drape and flow along A-line silhouettes. A cinch-waisted tunic dress sported stylized, golden floral prints against a moss green canvas. Leafy motifs added depth and a palette that included rich reds and saffron created a beautiful, quirky and slightly nerd chic line.

09 Sep 2006, New York City, New York , USA --- A model walks the runway during the Verrier Spring 2007 fashion show during Olympus Fashion Week. --- Image by © Andreea Angelescu/CorbisAndreea Angelescu

“The collection featured feminine dresses, skirts & shorts referencing the 1920s and the 1940s,” Michelle Reneau, associate market editor at Marie Claire, told MSNBC. “A personal favorite were the high-waisted sailor shorts. Very Rachel McAdams in The Notebook!”

Alice Ritter — Feminine, interesting and eminently wearable, the Parisian-born New York designer’s stateside debut combined a classic, yet youthful collection of looks. “I loved her ‘trapeze’ dresses and coats in bold colors such as magenta, cobalt and tangerine. Some standouts from her collection were a mustard colored raw silk skirt with a ‘paper bag waist’ and a cobalt blue striped short-sleeve coat,” Reneau said.

3.1 Phillip Lim — Branching off from the Development line last year, Lim hit the runway solo for the first time time this season. “If there was a ‘most covetable’ award, Phillip’s designs would definitely win,” Reneau said. “His first runway show definitely lived up to the hype with beautiful white dresses with 3-D rosettes that easily transition from day to night.”

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 14: A model walks the runway at the Alice Ritter Spring 2007 Fashion show during Olympus Fashion Week in the UPS Hub in Bryant Park September 14, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images For Alice Ritter)Mark Mainz / Getty Images North America

Katy Rodriguez — Away from the tents, this San Francisco designer made her New York debut at Resurrection. “Katy is a new talent that we, at Marie Claire, have our eye on,” said Reneau, who added that she will be featured in an upcoming issue. “She is definitely one to watch!”

Terexov — Russian designer Alexander Terekhov created refined feminine elegance with simple, bold V-neck dresses in black, white and gray, the prime examples of which were exemplified by a sheer, flowing, patterned full-length dress; a round-shouldered and sash-accented red dress; and a robe-like gold dress with a plunging neckline.

Rodarte — Now in their fourth season, sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy have garnered a fair amount of attention with their collections, and this season was no exception. “Their clothes are true works of art,” said Reneau. “These girls are so serious about their dresses that they actually hand-deliver them to our fashion department for photo shoots. They can’t bear the thought of messengers crumpling up their clothes! These girls are here to stay.”