09/11/2013 06:45 EDT | Updated 11/11/2013 05:12 EST

Nanette Leopre celebrates softness, romance in a colorful and bouncy spring collection

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Nanette Lepore thinks we're emerging from an edgier, harsher period into a new Romantic era. In fashion, anyway.

And so Lepore's designs for spring are full of what she calls "a softness, a sexiness, a boudoir feeling, a neo-Romanticism."

Her spring preview Wednesday was one of those collections that made fashionistas happy: Pretty, flouncy, colorful, wearable. Her emphasis on softness came through in the very first garment — a pair of silky shorts with a flouncy ruffle, in a blush colour but with a white stripe.

Lepore's colours went from eye-popping, as in a bright poppy red and a crisp aqua, to subtle, as in a daffodil colour akin to a minty green, and that pale blush. She also favoured a floral print in many garments, one she called "a distressed floral." The distressed look, she explained, modernizes the look while keeping the softness.

That floral came down the runway many times: in a ruffled top, a sarong-like drawstring skirt, pretty dresses, and in swimsuits, too, both a bikini and a one-piece. A particularly romantic use of the print came in a long, silky dress with an asymmetrical bottom and a large ruffle to one side.

Lepore's shoes were fun to look at, too, but looked even more fun to wear — much more than the stilettos many in the audience were traipsing around in, probably in great pain by this point in the week. Her sneaker-type sandals bore a mix of colorful patterns and had heels, but were comfy-looking nonetheless.

Her handbags, also, had colorful mixes of patterns — something she called a "collaged" effect.

But with all the happy prints, there were a few dresses that had a simpler, crisper effect: a lovely white dress with zipper-like seams, a long dress in cool aqua, and a bright red poppy dress that would most certainly stand out in a crowd.