Big Girl in a Skinny World: Fashion Week Diary Days 6 & 7

From Betsey Johnson to Anna Sheffield, Nicolette Mason weighed in on which Spring 2012 designers inspired her at NYFW.

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We're so excited to have Nicolette Mason, our newest Big Girl in a Skinny World contributor, Nicolette Mason, covering NYFW for Marie Claire. Come back every day for her diary!

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Chris Benz... Why must you make such perfectly colorful, bright, inventive floral pieces that have me dreaming and lusting and swooning over something that is out of reach for months? Oh, how I love Benz and his inventive approach to color. No, his designs aren't offered in plus sizes, but he does offer a world's worth of inspiration. His Spring 2012 collection, inspired by the idea of Warhol Girls going to Coney Island and this past summer's intense heatwave, was delightful - with models with clouds of big, teased hair standing tall, cloaked in brights. Plus, you have to love a designer that will showcase his models in both sneakers (decked in his florals, to boot) as well as sky-high wedges - each as covetable as the other, and the perfect option to maintaining style from the gym to the cocktail party. And, let's talk styling for a moment? I've already discussed my admiration for the prints-on-prints-on-prints trend, but how many of you would rock this look? It's certainly bold, but I'm going to put myself up to the challenge come spring!

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Betsey Johnson shows can always be counted on for two things: fun, and cartwheels down the catwalk by 69-year-old Betsey Johnson herself. Johnson's spring collection oozed with sex-appeal, with a thick (but still appealing) layer of tawdriness applied on top. There was no lack of curve appreciation, bling, or frills, and despite a playsuit and miniskirt that were uncanny knock-offs of Alexander McQueen's signature skull print, the collection was authentically Betsey. It was all very early-Noughties, a nice contrast to the 1980's vibes earlier in the afternoon, and the 1970's nostalgia that would follow.

For several years, Karen Walker has been one of my favorite designers to watch, (and no doubt, part of that is my very Brooklyn-based life rubbing off on my tastes). Though the collection was inispired by Taxi Driver, the 1970's New York Scorsese classic, the collection was heavy on cheerful prints in beautiful color combinations, like mustard and navy, emerald and tan, and pink and deep violet. Prints are always a strong point in Walker's collections, and this season's oversized checks and stunning florals were no exception. And of course, one cannot discuss Karen Walker without touching on accessories: I absolutely want to see the world through rose-colored (or magenta, for that matter) glasses next spring.

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I admittedly knew very little about Malaysian designer Zang Toi before his runway show, but the elegant designs, though not my taste, absolutely made me think of the older, mature women who are so often left out of the equation when it comes to the hyper youth-centric world of fashion. Across a season geared primarily toward 20-and-30-somethings, it was nice to see a collection that was more appropriate for the 60-year-old Kirstie Alley that closed Zang Toi's show.

Bibhu Mohapatra was a new-to-me designer that seemed to be the subject of much conversation throughout fashion week, and if i can be honest, though his pieces were very pretty, I couldn't find a strong point of view or perspective in his collection, that was comprised mostly of cocktail-wear and evening gowns. While the collection was praised for its Helmut Newton inspiration, it felt more like a very expensive prom.

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Designer Anna Sheffield, of Bing Bang Jewelry, has created a new line of fine jewelry with a focus on commitment and engagement pieces. After nearly a week long marathon of clothes, it was so refreshing to take a departure from garments to view fine jewelry and gems in a sky-high suite at The Standard downtown. With a breathtaking view of Manhattan at Sunset, the honeymoon suite was fitted with all the makings of a romantic getaway - diamonds, a bath drawn with rose petals, champagne, and chocolate. Sheffield's raw edge from her Bing Bang collection was carried over to the traditionally delicate realm of commitment jewelry, with reinvented approaches to antique settings. While the cornerstone of the collection is based on engagement rings, the entirety of the collection is very wearable for any reason or occasion. Unsurprisingly, the room was filled with security guards, lest any of the guests walk off with one of Anna's gorgeous pieces! If anyone plans on proposing to me anytime soon, please take note...

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