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Zac Posen Fall 2012: Redemption?

This is Zac Posen's second season showing at New York fashion week after a hiatus in Paris and a few tumultuous years of pissing off fashion industry people. He's kept a relatively low profile the past year, with his gowns regularly popping up on red carpets. Is this his season of fashion redemption? A few signs point to yes. His show had a lot more people in attendance this season than last. The most notable person to show up? Anna Wintour, who did not grace the front row at his spring 2012 show. The fact that she showed up is pretty significant. While there were no high wattage celebs in attendance (unlike, um, Kelly Osbourne from last season), Dita von Teese, who could be a walking billboard for Posen's creations, was there. Actress Kate Mara--sister of Rooney--sat front row, too, though I doubt she was there scouting dresses for Salander her sis. The show was standard Zac Posen, which is not to imply that it was at all mundane or boring in any way.

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Shown at the American Ballet Theatre, show goers in attendance at yesterday evening's show dressed like they were going to an actual ballet: Lots of fur, lots of high heels, and many ladylike dresses. I felt slightly out of place in skinny jeans and Frye moto boots (it was snowing, ok?), especially when the models started walking.

Tricked out in sky-high Manolo Blahniks, the models slowly, and sometimes precariously, made their way down the runway in Asian-inspired looks replete with obi belts and lots of tapestry prints. Posen never met a trumpet skirt or mermaid hem he didn't like, and this design element probably contributed to the very teeny steps the models were forced to take.

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The "day" looks and shorter dresses are definitely going to appeal to a certain type. Zac Posen does not do sportswear. These looks are for attending fancy charity lunches, movie premieres, and other such fabulous events. And Posen is obviously known for his show-stopping gowns, of which there were plenty this season. It's really a pleasure to see such beautiful creations up close. From a champagne strapless stunner (you watching, Taylor Swift?) to the ball gown which Coco Rocha wore to close the show, it was pure fantasy. Speaking of Rocha--who's good friends with the designer--she both opened and closed his show. She later posted on her Tumblr that Posen told her the closing gown was "the biggest he's ever created."

Zac Posen has never been afraid of going big, and this time it could truly be go big or go home for his career.

Photos: IMAXtree