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Spring Preview

Frida Kahlo meets Sofia Vergara in colorful, sexy collections from Naeem Khan and Christian Siriano

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Naeem Khan floral dress, spring collection 2014
Naeem Khan red/nude floral embroidered organza flared dress. Photo by Cheryl Bemis/Fashionably Austin
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 1
Christian Siriano floral brocade collarless blazer and pleated short with eyelet Oxford blouse. Photo courtesy of Christian Siriano
Naeem Khan wedding gown, Sept 2013
Naeem Khan wild roses embroidered wedding gown with chapel-length veil of degrade windblown wild roses. Photo by Cheryl Bemis/Fashionably Austin
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 30
Christian Siriano floral organza wing sleeve sheath dress. Photo courtesy of Christian Siriano
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Naeem Khan 1
Naeem Khan menagerie-beaded mini-dress. Photo by © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Naeem Khan 2
Naeem Khan floral beaded T-shirt and slim pant. Photo by © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 27
Christian Siriano crepe strapless gown with flounce overlay Photo courtesy of Christian Siriano
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 4
Christian Siriano sheath dress with floral brocade paneling. Photo courtesy of Christian Siriano
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 38
Christian Siriano floral organza strapless trumpet gown with petal applique. Photo courtesy of Christian Siriano
Naeem Khan gown spring collection 2014
Left, Naeem Khan floral embroidered one-shoulder trumpet gown; right, embroidered dolman sleeve caftan gown with back cutout. Photo by Cheryl Bemis/Fashionably Austin
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 designer Naeem Khan
Naeem Khan. Photo by © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Naeem Khan floral dress, spring collection 2014
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 1
Naeem Khan wedding gown, Sept 2013
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 30
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Naeem Khan 1
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Naeem Khan 2
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 27
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 4
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 Christian Siriano Look 38
Naeem Khan gown spring collection 2014
Fashion Week spring summer 2014 designer Naeem Khan

NEW YORK — Christian Siriano and Naeem Khan know what women like. While many designers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week showed bland shades for spring, these two went in an opposite direction, with colorful, floral collections based on the vitality of life south of the border that are sure to be crowd pleasers.

Siriano, arguably the most successful Project Runway winner ever, based his collection on a vacation he took to Isla Mujeres. The Mexico resort town's brightly-colored houses and images of the bustling marketplace are reflected in a series of nifty basket-weave skirts, jackets and dresses and daywear in bright yellow, melon and pink floral shades.

While many designers showed bland shades, these two went in an opposite direction, with colorful collections based on the vitality of life south of the border. 

A number of feathery outfits that look like carwash flappers are a real miss, but Siriano redeems himself with a series of gowns adored with floral appliques and flounce overlays. Siriano excels at eye-catching evening wear — he won raves for outfitting Mad Men's Christina Hendricks in a form-fitting black gown at the Emmys — and his ethereal spring looks herald the bloomin' season.

Khan, a Texas favorite who also excels in dramatic, figure-enhancing evening wear, kept up the winning streak with a collection based on the "romance and vibrant colors embedded in the Latin culture," as he explained in his program notes. He featured his models in Frida Kahlo braids but the slinky evening gowns had more of a Sofia Vergara vibe.

Many of the most dramatic looks featured embroidered lace roses over nude mesh fabric to create a dazzling sense of illusion. Floral peasant blouses and heavily embroidered kaftans were riffs on themes in previous Khan collections, while gowns in multi-colored hand-painted abstract prints and colorful beaded cropped T-shirts and mini-dresses seemed fresh and new.

Khan closed the show with a delicate wedding gown embroidered with roses, heralding his newest venture. He launches his bridal collection next month and it looks like a winner.

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