Blass' appeal reaches far

Sometimes it's the bigwigs in the audience who underscore a designer's appeal and in the case of Michael Vollbracht's very good Bill Blass show on Tuesday afternoon -- that appeal is quite broad.

Sure, there wasn't as much hoopla around Dr. Ruth Westheimer as there was at, say, Janet Jackson's seat but suffice to say, there was something lovely for each to wear.

In the case of Dr. R., jazzed up menswear -- smart charcoal flannel, a nipped tattersall jacket, a swingy cashmere coat with toggles over a neat black dress -- in petites of course.

For Miss Jackson, a brazen python halter with matching skirt, a white embroidered goddess gown with a midriff cut-out to expose those toned abs, and a sculptural chocolate silk slither with built-in lace back panels.

No wardrobe malfunctions here.

MONIQUE LHUILLIER

One never knows when inspiration will strike, and Monique Lhuiller found hers in a coffee table book about the jewels of the Maharaja.

Translation: Dazzling confections heavily embellished with turquoise, crystal and stone, the best in a vintage paisley chiffon.

Lhuiller has moved away from her wedding gown roots and has established a loyal following of red carpeters, who love her sultry yet flattering eveningwear.

That said, some of her day looks were poorly conceived particularly tightly tailored tiered tweeds that awkwardly segmented the body making even rail thin runway types appear less than svelte.

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