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Crazy for the Caribbean New York Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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NEW YORK -- Each season there's at least one place, period or color palette that's a key go-to for designers' inspiration at New York Fashion Week. This time it's the vibrant shades and easy-going spirit of the Caribbean.

In the wake of Cuba opening up to Americans, several designers have shaped their spring/summer 2016 collections with a south-of-the-border sensibility in mind.

Dennis Basso's elegant interpretation of the theme mixed bold prints and hot hues to channel, as he put it, "visions of strong, glamorous and alluring women from Mexico City to Havana to Rio to Buenos Aires and all of the cities in between." There were floral printed pieces, high-cut shorts done in island-inspired prints, exquisite embroidery details and, of course, plenty of his signature textured and multicolored furs done in broadtail, sable and fox.

Angel Sanchez's "Tropical Couture" collection was sparked by the Caribbean flower the Cayena (also known as the Hibiscus). This prompted his usage of an intense color palette of citrus yellows, mango oranges, grassy greens and fuchsias, balanced by pure-white pieces. The Cayena also came to life in his artful floral details done in leather and acrylic that adorned many designs, plus some more sculptural bodices crafted to resemble flower petals.

Tommy Hilfiger (pictured above snapping a selfie with his cast of models; photo courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger) delivered one of the week's more literal takes on island fever with his elaborate lagoon and sand runway set and a playful collection packed with Caribbean-appropriate casual wear, including swimwear, crocheted separates, tees and sweaters, flowing maxis, bucket hats and backpacks.

See more from these collections below ...

ANGEL SANCHEZ (photos courtesy of Angel Sanchez)

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