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Banana Republic Proposes an Easy Spring

New York – The words "easy" and "breezy" are often overused when it comes to Spring collections, but in a current economic climate that is anything but, they're welcome descriptors. This was the type of light mood that Banana Republic's new creative director Simon Kneen embraced with his Spring 2009 collection, shown in New York on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

"I think you need something positive and colorful when things are tough outside," said Kneen after the show. "The last thing we need is to add to the doom and gloom."

While the collection did go for a minimalist, pared-down approach that many designers showed this spring, Kneen fully explored the many possibilities of a neutral monochromatic color palette of slate, khaki and white - silky, liquid-like colors of "swimming pool" blue and "oasis green" added a refreshing bite and languid, carefree touch.

Harkening back to Banana Republic's sportswear heritage, Kneen updated classics like the trench, making it into a sleeveless maxi dress, or slim cardigans in the lightest cashmeres. Soft eco-fabrics like soy fiber made slouchy trousers look and feel effortless.

For men, the cardigan still continued to have a strong showing as a more casual, hip alternative to a suit jacket, and paper-thin leather jackets looked sharp, and functional for transitional weather. And juicy colored pants in lobster red might be just the antidote to Wall Street's grey days.