Philadelphia University honored Nicole Miller with the Spirit of Design Award at its annual student fashion show Saturday.

The shy designer with two local boutiques was lauded for her easy-to-wear silhouettes that range from office-appropriate to super-sexy, as well as for her fabric innovation. Miller is a pioneer in working with stretch metallics and body-camouflaging fabrics. (No wonder her body-skimming ruched pencil skirts and evening gowns actually allow for breathing.)

Other innovations were on display as designers sent a cadre of wearable looks down the runway.

Fashion design students collaborated with textile students to create delicate knits, dip-dyed ombres, and electric tie-dyed pieces. Collections ranged from candy-colored A-line shapes to skinny futuristic looks in clean, shiny shades and monochromatic hues. Inspiration ranged from 1990s Ally McBeal silhouettes to the evil queen from Snow White and the Huntsman.

Menswear was androgynous, and children's wear was garden-party playtime: smocked dresses in bright polka dots, stripes, and florals.

Senior Sarah Fitzgerald's sophisticated collection featuring jeweled fringe vests and maxi dresses took four awards: Philadelphia University's Fashion Industries Association's Best Senior Collection, Chico's Award for Design Excellence, the Frank Agostino Eveningwear Award for Excellence in Design and Execution, and the Philadelphia University Fashion Industries Association's Best of Show. - Elizabeth Wellington