02/14/2014 05:38 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mara Hoffman Is Surprisingly Zen Backstage At Fashion Week

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Amidst all the chaos of New York Fashion Week, it's nice to be reminded every once in a while that there is a certain amount of "zen" that still exists in the industry.

No one personifies that notion quite as well as Mara Hoffman. We chatted with the designer just moments before her fall 2014 runway show and were blown away by her ability to stay cool, calm and collected. Even when asked to describe the scene backstage, she simply laughed and said, "It's pretty chill back there, it's not so crazy."

Out on the runway, the vibe was more exciting. Hoffman's intricately beaded and patterned collection is heavily influenced by Northern Africa, a region she feels is "richly saturated in inspiration." Colorful dresses, drapey sweaters and gorgeous jewel tones ruled her runway. The designer has a unique ability to create pieces that are visually stunning, but accessible at the same time. Friend and photographer Nigel Barker describes it as "clothing you feel like you can do anything in."

Hoffman's love of comfort is not limited to the runway. When asked what the one thing every girl should have in their wardrobe for fall, she was quick to suggest "a great, beautiful sweater that she loves and can wear every day." Something that will give her "the most bang for her buck."

Music to our ears, Mara.

Take a look at some of our favorite pieces from the collection below and click here to see the entire show.

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The style wasn't limited to the runways:

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