The American Masters: Michael Kors, Reed Krakoff, Ralph Lauren and Isaac Mizrahi

The bold-face names in American design always show at the end of New York Fashion Week: Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Isaac Mizrahi, and the newest memb
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The bold-face names in American design always show at the end of New York Fashion Week: Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Isaac Mizrahi, and the newest memb
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The bold-face names in American design always show at the end of New York Fashion Week: Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Isaac Mizrahi, and the newest member of the club, Reed Krakoff. Here, a quick recap of their Spring/Summer 2011 collections.

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Michael Kors Lately, the man can do no wrong. Michael Kors is just as much of a hit on TV as he is on the runway, and he won the CFDA's Lifetime Achievement award earlier this summer. So it's no wonder Kors says he's in a "sunshine state of mind." Waking up to Kors Spring/Summer 2011 show was like waking up to a beautiful early summer day on a lazy weekend in the Hamptons: The sun is shining, there isn't a cloud in the sky, the grass has been freshly mowed (by someone else), flowers are blooming, and everyone's lounging around in luxe pajamas because, hey, it's the weekend and you're in the Hamptons and one must be relaxed in effortless flowy clothing, damnit. To drive the point home, a version of the Beatles, "Here Comes the Sun," played for the length of the show. Kors sent down a cheery comfortable collection of loose sweatshirt-like tops, long column skirts, glammed-up pajamas pants, and easy breezy robes in natural hemps and off-whites, vivid grass green, daffodil yellow, and bright zinnia fuchsia. It was classic, flawless, Kors.

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Reed Krakoff In two short seasons, Krakoff has taken his eponymous label from what many believed to be a pet project and turned it into one of the most important collections of New York Fashion Week. The Coach creative director's look is anything but Coach. Instead, it's minimalist, sleek, and perfect for friends like Amanda Brooks and Aerin Lauder, who sat front row. While the lines of the all-white suiting, the jersey brick red dresses, and the black leather jacket mixed with cotton were straight, the accessories were anything but. Krakoff showed leather chokers that almost resembled an old-fashioned telephone cord, and block-heeled shoes with an ankle trimmed in some sort of straw-like fur. The collection lacked the unnecessary heft of the previous season, making it far more wearable.

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Ralph Lauren Ralph Lauren's Spring/Summer collection was full of cowgirls in fringed-leather vests and fronteirswomen in antique crocheted blouses tucked into long skirts. Lauren often looks to the West for inspiration, but his West is never wild. It's elegant and refined, and even though each season is always classic Ralph, there's always something new, too. This season, in keeping with many of the trends we've been seeing this past week, there was lots of white on white and plenty of ankle-grazing skirts. He's also on trend with Navajo prints (a la Pendleton, a Fashionista favorite) on cross body bags. Some of the Western wear looked too literal--like leather chokers, oversized silver belt buckles, and fringed leather pants--but the crisp white collared shirts and delicate lace and crocheted tops are timeless. So we say, go west young women.

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Isaac Mizrahi Isaac Mizrahi's Spring/Summer 2011 collection was called "IM Xerox." We assume the xerox thing had something to with the muted xeroxed looking prints that dominated Mizrahi's collection, some black and white, some in muted color, often overlaid in sheer over simple column dresses. We were a bit disappointed that Mizrahi's show lacked some of the theater we've seen in seasons past (no rain on the runway this time), but there was still glamor in the way of rhinestone collars and show stopping red carpet dresses with voluminous trains.

Click through for behind the scenes photos from Michael Kors, taken by Julia Silverman.