N.Y. Fashion Week: Boss women's wear debuts with starry front row

Gwyneth Paltrow, Diane Kruger, Reese Witherspoon, Gerard Butler AND Benedict Cumberbatch. ... It was a full-on celebrity pileup at the presentation of Hugo Boss' Boss women's collection under the new direction of artistic director Jason Wu. The brand must have spent a fortune to get them all there. But it was a momentous occasion for the German luxury brand founded in 1923 that has been known throughout its history for men's more than women's wear.

The inspiration: The designer was inspired by the German brand's modernist headquarters, which are apparently surrounded by lush gardens. And he sought to inject softness and femininity into the brand's architectural heritage.

Key pieces: Razor sharp suiting with a modern edge, achieved by layering pieces over one another, or by adding sheer insets. Tailored coats and jackets fastened at the side. Leather and tartan sculpted shift dress. Fluid crepe dresses with Bauhaus-inspired embroidery. Little black dress with rippling chiffon panels down the front.

The verdict: Wu is off to a good start. This collection will appeal mainly to the corporate set. Though I could also see Kruger wearing some of it, and she did graciously stand and applaud Wu when he took his bow.