09/08/2012 01:41 EDT | Updated 11/08/2012 05:12 EST

Jill Stuart's spring looks show her signature femininity - and love of lace

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Designer Jill Stuart says spring is her favourite season, and she tried to convey that in a runway collection at New York Fashion Week on Saturday that celebrated lightness and femininity.

That's what Stuart does these days: pretty clothes that don't reinvent the wheel. There was a delicate white lace tea-time dress, and lingerie-inspired silk tap pants with a bustier top covered by a trench. A high-neck, bone-colored blouse was made of lace and dotted with flower appliques, and a seafoam-green, one-shouldered dress with a keyhole cutout on the top and a pleated skirt gave the catwalk a shot of colour.

She is aiming for "timeless, elegant dresses that are always capturing the season," Stuart said backstage. Lace has been a signature of Stuart for a long time, but her shapes have moved from girlie to more ladylike.

The makeup colours — from blush to powder beige — infused that warm-weather feel into the mix, but, really, she said, one could wear the clothes anytime. "I want to wear the black lace dress that's opening the show right now, tonight." (She has a dinner date with her daughter.)

Actress Rose Byrne, who sat in the front row, might consider asking the designer to borrow the sparkly beaded halter top and languid silk pajama pants shown toward the end of the show. It was an outfit perfect for someone who can pull off the relaxed glamour of old-school Hollywood.