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Designers Forecast Fall Fashion at JCPenney & StyleWatch FNO Party

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Dave Kotinsky/Getty

What do you get when you mix Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Charlotte Ronson, Nicole Miller and PEOPLE StyleWatch? A glamorous Fashion’s Night Out party at JCPenney! The brand’s biggest collaborators were on hand Thursday to celebrate FNO in New York and all of the offerings the store has this fall.

Design director Geoffrey Henning told PEOPLE that when looking for designers to add to JCPenney’s roster, he goes for those with a “contemporary edge. We look at brands that have maybe a bit of a younger feel,” he said. “So if you look at a Bisou Bisou, I Heart Ronson, Olsenboye, you sort of get that more urban, west coast feeling. It’s a different energy, and it fits for us.”

For the fall, Henning is rolling out items inspired by the 1970s. “It’s a really polished look, so a cape is important,” he said. “And fur. If you don’t have something fur then you’ve got a real problem.” Flared pants are back, too, he said, plus lace. “Whether it’s a T-shirt with lace on it or a lace dress or skirt, it’s important,” he shared. “I call it Black Swan — it’s a little romantic in that way.”

Someone who knows all about the trends is Charlotte Ronson, who stopped by to promote her I Heart Ronson line in the midst of preparing for her Charlotte Ronson runway show. But because her two lines appeal to different shoppers, she keeps the looks quite distinctive. “You want to have them different enough because the price point is so different,” she explained. “I might use some details of the contemporary collection [in I Heart Ronson], but with JCPenney it’s a broader customer base.”

For fall, Ronson is offering “knits and sweaters, some dresses, blouses,” she shared. “But knits are always what we sell the best.”

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen JCPenney
Dave Kotinsky/Getty

And as if she didn’t have enough on her plate, the designer is unveiling her Charlotte Ronson Beauty line at Sephora on Sept. 15. “There are Sephora stores in around 300 JCPenneys,” Ronson explained. “Sephora came to my big I Heart Ronson launch event in L.A., we started talking … they ended up doing beauty for my runway shows, so it’s kind of a natural progression. They’ve always done an amazing job translating the look we’re going for, and they’re just a really great partner.”

While Ronson and JCPenney designers Michele Bohbot and Allen B. Schwartz mingled, guests had the chance to talk style with PEOPLE StyleWatch fashion director Kate Dimmock, and enter for a chance to swap a fashion “miss” from their closet for a “must.” Didn’t make it to the event? Visit to enter now.

–Kate Hogan