09/10/2012 05:24 pm ET Updated Nov 10, 2012

A Crispness in the Air

Is it a coincidence that the first cool day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week saw a crispness in the clothing as well as the air? From Alexander Wang's cyber chic collection to the parade of city cool separates in black and white at DKNY, there's a sharpness at hand for Spring. Leather carries through from shorts to pants to dresses to trim on just about everything you can think of. Pants have an appealing Katherine Hepburn wideness, but now with a ubiquitous racing stripe down the side of practically all of them.

Even designers that often veer into the sweetly girly are finding their inner edge. Lela Rose trimmed her perfectly cut cocktail dresses with clumps of silver chains along the neckline, and Tracy Reese mixed in knife pleated leather skirts and motorcycle jackets with her signature exuberant prints. At Catherine Malandrino, the designer's beloved dresses were cut like second skin with cutouts and mesh playing peekaboo on a nighttime focused collection. (Her mint green gown cut down-to-there and up-to-there deserves a red carpet STAT).

When Victoria Beckham herself introduces trousers into her collection, you know there is a shift in the wind. There is a boxiness to blouses, a slimness in sheaths, and a clear shape to lightly stiff anoraks. Even with the pastels that have emerged on the runway, there is cleanness to the clothes this season that feels as fresh as the new chill in the NYC night air.