Images via WWD

Most fashion watchers have mental lists of designer that we don’t think get enough credit, and these pictures of Cynthia Rowley Spring 2012 from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York should say a lot about why Rowley has been on mine for some time. Sure, her aesthetic might nor be particularly innovative, but Rowley does a masterful job of making pretty, feminine clothes that don’t cross the line into twee or sacharine territory.

Towing that line isn’t simple, but the mixed florals on a background of black or ivory that constitute the overarching element of this collection are anything but obvious. The emphasis on structure amid the patterns makes the frocks feel modern where they might otherwise veer to the predictable, and the balance creates a line full of relevant, smart clothes for a girl who takes pleasure in being feminine. Dare I say that a few of the dresses felt a bit like Oscar de la Renta for a younger audience?

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