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Cynthia Rowley Keeps it Classy With Longer Skirts and Lush Fabrics

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In between planning art collaborations, making Band-Aids and Pampers fun and launching a line of bridesmaid dresses, we wonder how Cynthia Rowley finds the time to work on her own signature collections, but she pulls it off every single time. Especially on Friday when she showed her Fall 2011 collection in the Fashion Week tents. The designer is known for her fun and quirky touch and those signature sentiments still came through, even though the color palette seemed a bit darker than usual with lush woodsy tones. The looks were populated with smoky grays, emerald greens, inky blues, deep mauves and dense teals, plus the rusty burnt orange and golden yellow (also known as maize and ochre this week) — hues that we've been seeing quite a bit of this season.

About two minutes into the show, we made a mental note to really make an effort to buy some longer skirts. Minis are so 2010. Standouts included a modernly elegant emerald green and embroidered ballgown skirt paired with a patent leather jacket, plus a rainbow of chevron-paneled below-the-knee (but still with a deep slit) skirts. Luxe textures included velvet, silk crepe, charmeuse and leather. The designer played with metallic accents and went all out with a gleaming silvery ankle-length drop-waist dress.

The eclectic mix of bold names in the audience was definitely representative of Cynthia Rowley's many pursuits. We spotted steadfast supporter and The Good Wife star Alan Cumming, a dishy Nigel Barker, actress Julia Stiles, newly-engaged Lauren Bush and James Frey (yes, that James Frey).

The future Mrs. Lauren Lauren was on hand with a bright salmon-hued FEED bag in tribute to the designer. "I've known her for a few years now and she's been really supportive of FEED and what I do. She's sold our FEED bags and been a great advisor to me." Any advice highlights to share? "She always has really fun, creative ideas. She really just is such an exuberant radiant, creative thinking person. As for specific advice....just really creative marketing solutions." Maybe Cynthia should consider teaching as an addition to her prolific portfolio.

· All Fashion Week Coverage [Racked]
· Cynthia Rowley [Racked]