02/10/2012 12:39 EST | Updated 04/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Cynthia Rowley's collection inspired by 'mechanics, cobblers, leathermen'

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Well, now we know how she does it: With lots of YouTube breaks and double-brewed coffee. In this so-much-information era, designer Cynthia Rowley spilled her work habits to the audience gathered Thursday night for the runway preview of her fall collection during New York Fashion Week.

Rowley lined the bleachers set up in the lobby of a Meatpacking district building with notes that also included Twitter handles for her top hair, makeup and jewelry people so that the editors, buyers, stylists and a few celebrity pals, including Rebecca Romijn, would know just what they were seeing.

"What inspired the collection: Mechanics, cobblers and leathermen. Welding, oil slicks. Women artists making big, strong work," Rowley wrote.

Showing her own craftsman skills, Rowley somehow turned that into a lovely blouson dress in a blue-flame print, a soft buttery leather shift, and a tweed denim shirtdress. She paired skinny pants covered in a tortoise-shell print with a leather jacket and a jersey jumper with mixed print sleeves.

There were a few gimmicks, including jewel-encrusted coveralls, which was more jumpsuit than uniform, but still perhaps a little too literal. The jeweled collars, however, which created a turtleneck effect, seem like something that could really catch on.

Rowley likes to push limits on her catwalks — once even having the models walk on a path covered in candy — and that makes her show a real "show." For this go-around, she had the crowd sit opposite a wall covered in screens that simulcast from different spots what was happening in the runway, but all the outfits were stripped of colour.