Corey Lynn Calter’s eye-popping Resort 2009 collection

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Punchy brights and safari-inspired prints define L.A. designer Corey Lynn Calter’s breezy Resort 2009 collection, one of the most covetable we’ve seen from a contemporary brand for the in-between season.

Stand-out pieces include coral-hued pleated cropped pants, an ’80s-esque shorts romper rendered in a mish-mash of animal prints, a jersey tank and wrap-around top cut from a sporty cream-and-green striped jersey and a bustier-topped polka-dot sundress that’s very ‘Like a Virgin’ Madonna.

Ultimately, it all feels very Bal Harbour, Fla., circa 1983 in a great ‘Golden Girls’ way, but Calter said the collection was actually inspired by steamy nights on the bayou. The designer, who launched her eponymous collection in 2000 after a brief stint as a costumer on Broadway (and as specialty piece designer for Patricia Field’s legendary New York shop, House of Field) has always used prints confidently.

For spring, she managed to make preppy striped pants paired with an Indian-print top look dead elegant, and has, since starting her label, fused preppy stripes and ditsy prints (small, repetitive patterns) with more aggressive graphics culled from the Far East to downtown L.A. No easy feat.

-- Emili Vesilind