NEW YORK (AP) - Fashion designers love to talk about timeless classics, but even the best looks can use a little makeover to freshen up. Elie Tahari's spring collection celebrates 40 years of his company and its defining style, but, he said, he had to make the clothes fit the new context.

NEW YORK (AP) Fashion designers love to talk about timeless classics, but even the best looks can use a little makeover to freshen up. Elie Tahari's spring collection celebrates 40 years of his company and its defining style, but, he said, he had to make the clothes fit the new context.

"When I look back it was always a 'lady' behind the things I liked best. Sometimes we were caught in trends I'd rather not repeat," Tahari said Tuesday night at a New York Fashion Week presentation-turned-party.

He tweaked his plunging V jumpsuit to add a silicone insert on the chest, and a biker jacket now has mesh inserts. The leap between those styles and brand new ones, such as an overcoat with perforated leather, was seamless. He couldn't ignore the influence the high-tech world has on daily life, Tahari explained.

On the flip side, there's interest in going back to your roots and even nature's roots. He kept the raw edges of chic, simple shapes and used a color palette that alternated between basic black and colors he called "sand storm," ''soft sky" and rose mist."

He also showed that experience pays off: When other designers might struggle to convince shoppers to try the seasonal trend of bra and cropped tops, Tahari's seemed an easy sell by adding layers of sheer fabric to the outfit.