Jill Stuart has practically a dream muse for fall

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NEW YORK (AP) -- It was that easy: Jill Stuart just woke up one day thinking about how stylish British model Stella Tennant and her friends were, so Stuart thought she would create a wardrobe for them.

Stuart's fall collection presented Saturday at New York Fashion Week aims to dress an aristocratic fashion risk-taker for all the parties she is invited to -- at castles in the English countryside.

"I was thinking about the beautiful dinners and the charades she and her friends play, and the great performances they see at the end of the night," Stuart said in a backstage interview.

Her offerings include a plum-colored halter dress covered in satin flowers, a more tailored dress in black wool with more sharply cut flowers, and a white sheer man-tailored shirt paired with black evening shorts and a full-cut long black coat.

Stuart trimmed a black tulle cocktail dress with gold and black velvet straps, and a floral-print dress had black velvet trim on its sleeves, peplum and collar. There was a hint of Victoriana, which Stuart has played with before.

The designer said she does a lot of research for her collections, often starting with her library of Vogue magazines dating to the 1930s.

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