It’s expensive, make that very expensive, to send a collection down the runway in the Lincoln Center Tents during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.  So, when you see a new designer sending his or her first collection down the catwalk, you really have to root for them, that it will be worth the hard, hard work and huge, huge expense.

For Emerson, it was.  It’s a collection that addresses every part of the day for a woman.  And that was definitely by design.  “The inspiration for this collection was light and darkness, a play between textures and the ups and downs everyone goes through in their lives,” Jackie Fraser-Swan, Emerson’s owner and designer told me.  “And the feeling that, if a woman goes into her closet, depending on her mood that day, there’s something she can definitely choose from.”

The silhouettes were lovely and feminine, the prints edgy and interesting.  The strapless, black and white “cage” design dress was a perfect evening look, while a grey and white print (once again, we’re seeing something that borders on tie-die) showed up in dresses with or without sleeves, as well as tops and two-pieces.

There were pops of purple in cardigans and an off-the-shoulder dress, and textures in a short, aubergine leather jacket and see-through black lace top.  One thing Swan did was to pay equal heed to the front and the back.  She said, “I definitely love to play with attention on the back, so when you see her coming towards you, and when she turns around, you’re like, whoa!  What’s going on there? I definitely like to play with that. “

The hair, by the incredible Zahir Ziani for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas, reflected the mix of soft and edgy.  And makeup, by Red Door’s Lindsay Ebbin, was soft, then punched up with a slash of purple shadow.

It’s a debut to be proud of, and I hope we’ll see Emerson’s girly-girl with a hard edge look at lots more Fashion Weeks to come.

Photography: Anton Brookes

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