The ‘Four Tops’ show off summer looks in New York

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Alexander Wang’s strategic cuts and exposure redefine summer sensuality. AFP

These are the four favorite designers of Anna Wintour, who is still editor in chief of US Vogue magazine and arguably the most powerful woman in the fashion industry worldwide (even if she wasn’t appointed US ambassador to England allegedly because her longtime boyfriend, J. Shelby Bryan, owes the US government over a million dollars in back taxes). Last week, SI Newhouse appointed Wintour artistic director of all Condé Nast publications.

They are Alexander Wang, new head designer of Balenciaga; Prabal Gurung, who lists Kate Middleton as a client; Jason Wu, who again designed the red inaugural gown of second-time First Lady Michelle Obama; and Joseph Altuzarra, who designed a new way to wear a blazer.

They are known by insiders as the Four Tops, given editorial space for their innovative and pretty clothes in all Condé Nast publications. Here today are the best from their 2013 Summer Collections.

Wu brings sexy back via dominatrix black boy shorts and lace, inspired by the ’70s fashion photos of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin in Paris. His feminine tailoring breathes new life into career dressing.

RUFFLES TIERS–Prabal Gurung’s gray georgette tea dress AP

Gurung unleashes ruffles and flourishes with an uptown mood. Seduction is key to his dresses, in bold cuts and color choices.

Altuzarra takes a blazer and slits its sides, the vents enabling the arms to hang out, mimicking a blazer sitting on the shoulders of most fashion editors. This is a new way of ornamentation, part-gypsy coin beading and bohemian embroidery.

But it’s Wang who outdoes himself in theory, proportion and execution. Sticking to a palette of black, white, gray and silver, he creates cantilevered, gravity-defying dresses and separates. Looking like strips of leather with mesh or fish string connecting them over bare skin, the look is immediately architectural and downright sexual.

Study the ramp shots here. Notice the nuances, cuts and fine linear proportions. From New York’s  top four Amerasian designers, learn that the shock of the new is the way to look astonishing and powerful.

RED Cocktail dress by Prabal Gurung, Spring 2013 AP

See which photos attract your eye and consider maybe trying these new designs, perhaps executed by our local designers for you.

Consider what works for your body type, age appropriateness and comfort for your career needs—and you are a step ahead of the fashion flock.

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