Designer Jason Wu, who shot to stardom after dressing Michelle Obama for two inaugural balls, unveiled a light, fluid spring collection with the occasional sparkle at New York fashion week on Thursday, AFP reports.
The 30-year-old Taiwanese-born designer drew singer Alicia Keys, British actress Emily Mortimer and tennis player Maria Sharapova to his runway on the second day of the fashion fiesta in the Big Apple.
Eschewing the bold and often clashing prints seen on the catwalks lately, Wu used a muted color palette of ivory, dove grey, pale sage and navy metallic in a collection he said was "a dialogue between construction and ease."
From fitted, tailored pieces to slouchy, oversized sweaters, Wu moved to sheer, transparent fabrics, in one case draping a see-through kaftan over white underwear.
Mashing up the masculine with the feminine, he paired large sweaters with skirts or a military-inspired jacket with a shimmering knee length skirt.
Wu mixed laid-back with sexy, throwing in plenty of sparkle with sheer, shimmering dresses and skirts and ending with a sleek fitted gown that flared out at the bottom with a train.
Also gilded were top model Jordan Dunn's eyelids, while hair on the runway was slicked into a long chic ponytail with a gold clip.
"I've been loosening up in the last couple of seasons ... just taking the idea of the body in a very different way," he told AFP after the show.
"It is like how do you make something so easy, but also at the same time be ingeniously engineered."
On his decision to avoid the ubiquitous print, he said it "feels like the right thing to do now. In how many seasons of print heavy, bold colors, it feels like a nice refresher."
For the obscure fashion designer, nothing catapults a career into the stratosphere like having Michelle Obama wear one's clothes.
Wu's star continues to rise after being touched by the fashion icon's magic wand, and he was recently appointed creative director for Hugo Boss women's wear.
Obama wore Wu's one-shouldered, draped chiffon ball gown for her husband's first inaugural ball and surprised veteran style watchers when she wore another one of his designs -- this time a showstopping red dress -- at the president's second inauguration in February.
American designer Peter Som, who has also been worn by Obama and a host of other celebrities -- he says one of his favorites is Scarlett Johansson -- took viewers to the beach with his spring-summer 2014 collection.
The classic pairing of black and white has taken over the runways in New York and Som gave his version of the trend, with mesmerizing stripe patterns on jackets, dresses and loose-fitting pants.
A high-waisted bikini with a swirling blue water pattern teamed with a sateen tuxedo coat or with a cropped jacket set the tone for his "downtown girl who goes surfing" collection.
Using a range of blues and coral, Som -- who consulted for Tommy Hilfiger for five seasons until last year -- used a "beachy palette" and played with textures.
One outfit paired a jacquard pea-coat with a silk-crepe shirt and black neoprene pants.
There were also plenty of bare midriffs with cropped tops and cropped jackets, paired with either a pair of slouchy pants or a knee length skirt.
Seen at both Wu and Som were knee-grazing shorts and head-to-toe white outfits.
"I am a beach bum at heart," Som told AFP, saying he had also tried to mix the masculine with the feminine and create "a sense of ease, a relaxed way of dressing."
Celebrities and fashionistas have flocked to the city for fashion week, which runs through September 12 before the spotlight swings over to London, Milan and Paris.
Of course, most are awaiting shows from the top designers: Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and Victoria Beckham, to name a few.