Ashlee Simpson, Ciara Check Out BCBG's Fall Style Map

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The success of the dress continues.

At the Wednesday morning preview of BCBG Max Azria’s spring collection, the first womenswear line presented as part of New York Fashion Week, one delicate dress floated down the runway after another. The best part: many were wearable.

The femininity came from the fabrics, mostly organza and tulle, in a subtle dusty palette with only the occasional pop of a blush pink. Because some of the dresses would have been sheer on their own, the husband-wife design team of Max and Lubov Azria layered them, often with a silk slipdress under a wrap dress or one with panels.

“Hiding in the light you will find traditional tailoring and corsetry deconstructed to define a modern woman,” said the Azrias in their notes explaining their inspiration.

One of the best looks was the first. They called it a trenchcoat — but most would probably consider the gravel-colored organza garment a coatdress — that was worn over a tulle slipdress and nipped at the waist with a leather wrap belt.

Other outstanding outfits were an off-white vest over an ivory bustier dress with pleat details worn over an ivory slipdress, and a seafoam-colored silk charmeuse panel dress with a pale gray slipdress with a lace hem. Any of the dresses that had oversized pleated pockets, though, would create too wide a silhouette for anyone other than the stick-thin models who continue to dominate the catwalk.

BCBG’s young fans in the entertainment world turned out to the tents at Bryant Park, where Azria will also show his signature upscale collection Friday. Ashlee Simpson, Sophia Bush and Ciara were in the front row as was tennis star Martina Hingis, who people seemed surprised to see in a gold sequin top, black jumper and black booties.

“It was all very pretty,” Hingis said after the show. “The satin — that was really nice.”

Overall, dresses have been a strong trend the past three fashion cycles, but the shape has changed. It started with short, boxy shifts in the spring, which morphed into shirtdresses for fall. It seems as if next season’s shape — at least for BCBG — is a loose sheath, one that glides over an hourglass shape without sticking to it.

New York Fashion Week runs eight days with Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. and Nicole Miller among those still to show on this kickoff day.

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