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Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCullough deservedly captured the imagination of the fashion world immediately following last season's highly acclaimed inaugural Fall/Winter collection (which earned them CFDA's 2003 Perry Ellis Award for Womenswear), and Spring/Summer is an evolution of what they showed 6 months ago. But it's a fresher, lighter, more upbeat, playful, and colorful take on their easy approach to luxury marked by an irreverent and unselfconscious interpretation of classic dressmaking (and on Coco Chanel), as well as classic themes like nautical and preppy.

On display was adept technique, seaming, tailoring, offbeat unexpected pairings, eclectic mixes, and the innovative use of fabrics (who else would coat a chrome yellow patent leather hooded slicker with sequins?) And as well respected fashion journalist Mary Lou Luther observed, they even managed to "invent a new jacket" (referring to their sleeveless back buttoned tops that were called 'jackets' on their run of show).

The duo claim they always "start with a feeling" ("It's about a silhouette and then we go from there"). And what they're obviously feeling for is that youthful vibe, mixing athletic with couture, demure with sexy, elegant with utilitarian, skinny with voluminous. Parading on the runway at the Jacob Javits Center were a lineup of their now signature outlined corseted tops in a variety of fabrics, which are paired as easily with graceful knee length skirts as with boyish low rise, zippered athletic shorts; a Chanel inspired black and white nubby tweed fashion into a back buttoned sleeveless jacket and worn with perfectly cut coral pants whose details are completely outlined in gray; the graceful black and white tweed skirt outlined in black (giving it the appearance of 'pleats') worn with a white sheer gauze long sleeved blouse whose pockets, collar, and cuffs are outlined in black; a group of amazing swimsuits (including a coral and gray diamond pattern cutout maillot worn under a knee length hooded coat that seemed to be two in one). Ropes of H. Stern pearls were added to several outfits and black patent high- heeled Mary Janes were used throughout. Chic and young it was!

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