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Leather Knee Patches and a Half-Coat, Half-Cape at Nicole Miller

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You know the "New York Uniform," right? It's black?anything black?with the permission to throw in some gray, white, cream and/or the occasional splash of actual, pigmented color. It's an undeniably chic look, one that works best with tailored jackets or architecturally-inspired looks, and Nicole Miller knows all this very well, as it aptly describes her Fall 2011 runway show Friday night at Lincoln Center.

If there's one huge reason we love February Fashion Week, it's for the winter collections being shown and their predilection for layering and the color black. So New York climate-friendly! Miller injected a little color with slices of true blue sequins or soft geometric prints, and?oh yes?liquid silver leggings and a crinkled skirt for the downtown ingenues. Elle's Robbie Myers and Joe Zee approve; don't think we didn't see you two smiling.

Now about that half-coat, half-cape (see photo 6 above). It's got that double-personality edge that Moschino loves to do, but instead of being whimsical, the Nicole Miller coat-cape is serious. Dead serious. It's so serious you could actually wear it out, feel badass, and receive very few "what the hell is she wearing" questioning looks. So how many ways can you rework a black coat? That was a trick question?we'd guess infinite if pressed to answer. On a more personal note, however, we're liking this way very much indeed.

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