September 10, 2009 New York
This is actually the second time Alabama Chanin, the person, has been in the running. The last time was when she was a partner in Project Alabama (with which she is no longer associated).
"It's tight and succinct," the designer said of her Spring collection, which came in hues of doeskin, earth, blush, ruby, and midnight blue. "It's very clean." You won't find bandage dresses or miniskirts at Alabama Chanin, but that doesn't mean she's not offering something more than just folksy charm: Witness a wrap top with a flyaway back train that offered a peek of skin, for instance. But it's the handwork, of course—the couching, the reverse appliqués, the "Alabama fur" (really strands of thread) —that keeps fans rooting for the home team.