At the Tents: Jill Stuart, Betsey Johnson, Charlotte Ronson and Proenza Schouler

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While we could do without Jill Stuart‘s recent ad campaign starring washed-up Lindsay Lohan, we heart the designer’s fashion: the clothing is striking and the fitting is spot-on. Thus, we are particularly sad to report that her fall 2008 collection was a departure that left much to be desired. Like Rag & Bone, Jill often paired navy blue and black, but these clothes were more contrived than wearable. We understand fashion means moving in new directions, but sometimes you can’t help loving a label for its consistency. Heavy velvet layering and shapeless dresses do not resonate like the flattering party dresses of her past collections.

Subtlety has never been Betsey Johnson‘s style. Her clothes are vibrant, fitted, in-your-face sexy, and her fall collection was no exception. She moved beyond the feisty floral dresses she’s known for and incorporated more black, leopard print, and accessories. It’s not exactly a look you’re going to wear to the office, but, hell, it’s Betsey! To complement her eighties-done-right apparel, she blared Cyndi Lauper‘s “She-Bop” as the leggy models strutted their stuff on the runway.

Let’s be honest about Charlotte Ronson. More than her designs, we’re intrigued by her badass family, including hottie mega-producer Mark Ronson, crazy DJ sister Samantha Ronson, and model muse half-sister Ann Dexter-Jones. Her fall collection was youthful and typically Charlotte. Sweater dresses and hints of plaid, purples, and hair accessories peppered the runway. Nothing too exciting. We mostly just noticed that the models’ ankle boots are from her last season.

Is there anything the young designing duo of Proenza Schouler can’t do? The lads, who’ve already conquered mass retail at Target, wowed the fashion set with a superb fall collection. It doesn’t take Anna Wintour’s front-row seat to see that their ornate beading, embroidery, and design construction were masterfully created. The silhouettes were progressive—which usually scares us—but the pieces were beautiful nonetheless. The entire collection is almost certainly out of our price range, but we can still admire its rich colors, intricate finishes and visionary perspective.