Cynthia Steffe Spring Muse Has Soft Touch

Spring 2010 fashion collection from Cynthia Steffe by designer Shaun Kearney is modeled during fashion week in New York, Friday, Sept. 11, 2009. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Cynthia Steffe brought a bit of a love story to New York Fashion Week on Friday, offering softened styles for a muse who has become smitten with her sweetheart over the past few months.

The last time she had been on the runways at Bryant Park showing off fall clothes, she was a hard-edge rock 'n' roll girl in leather and structured jackets. Next season, though, she favors muted floral prints, feminine tiers of ruffles and refined, sophisticated suede.

Still, Steffe is afraid to fully commit to a girlie look: She keeps her menswear shirting and a denim trench coat -- a must-have item.

Photos: Fashion Week Opens

"The feel is softer and a bit more romantic, but still quite sexy. The collection features delicate fabrics like chiffon and gossamer silk balanced by more masculine material like suede and washed cotton linen," said designer Shaun Kearney, design director.

"I love the juxtaposition of a sweet dress in light pink chiffon layered under a soft gray utility vest. Another of my favorite looks is a mint green suede dress with ruffles and a silver zipper down the front. That blend of sweet and sexy, soft and hard, embodies my design philosophy for Cynthia Steffe," Kearney added.

Although it's still early into Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, with shows running through next Thursday, the unconventional floral print seems to be emerging as a trend, as does metallic fabrics that have a sheen but are not shiny, further evolving the popular tarnished look of the current season.

Steffe captured that best with a one-shoulder, silver washed-linen minidress that was gathered at the hip with two tiers of ruffles as the very short skirt.