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Costello Tagliapietra Fall 2012: Dresses Worth Investing In

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The Scene: A double runway at Milk Studios divided by two sets of benches. Every guest received a marriage equality pin—fitting, since the designer couple tied the knot in October 2011—with their program. (The front row was also treated to silky printed tote bags.) Within the crowd, we spotted actress Susan Sarandon, Top Chef host Padma Lakshimi and Miss J Alexander ("Runway coach extraooordinaire!") of America's Next Top Model fame.

The Look: The clothing rode that tricky line between interesting and practical—the pieces were inventive enough to satisfy fashion fanatics, yet still really pretty and totally wearable.

There were dresses with soft abstract prints that reminded us of underwater creatures, in muted neons and pinky grey. The solid color options had delightfully unexpected details, like subtle keyholes and darted waistlines. All the items will make solid building blocks for a lasting wardrobe: they are timelessly flattering yet utterly unique.

Pieces We Want: For a busy fall schedule that includes Spring 2013 Fashion Week, running to market appointments and lots of autumn shopping? One of the simple above-the-knee dresses, for sure. Add some Rachel Comey booties, a leather bomber and you can't go wrong.

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