Under the young direction of Afghanistan-born designer Waleed Khairzada, Cynthia Steffe’s spring 2009 collection offers a crisp and refreshing take on well-tailored, modern women’s wear. As androgynously-styled models with sleek, pulled-back hair and dramatically stark makeup strut down the runway, one thing was clear: while the models appear identical, the clothes have scope that’s anything but static.

With styles ranging from demure white chiffon frocks to fierce block-leather separates, the collection seems varied in style, but every piece works somehow. In terms of color scheme, Khairzada stuck to black and white with bright reds, lime green and crisp blue floral patterns. Each look has a feminine shape, emphasizing a small waistline even when playing with menswear elements such as sporty jackets. Many looks have subtle detailing that brings something new to classic silhouettes, including petal-like tiers on an ethereal floral sundress and little buttons on a cropped jacket. Many of the more delicate looks are styled with chunky black plastic aviator sunglasses, a black belt, a sporty black visor or small black gloves, adding a bit of edge to pieces that would otherwise be more suitable for a garden party.

Overall, the Cynthia Steffe collection shows a range in styles and textures while maintaining a sense of cohesion; the line is refined and feminine with subtle elements of sharpness.

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