Dresses drawing attention to the back—with intricate, eye-popping and whimsical details—were part of more than a dozen spring '09 presentations at the recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. "Every season, there's a different erogenous zone," says Carmen Marc Valvo, who unveiled a black gown with thin straps that merged in a basket weave on the small of the back. Nanette Lepore's red dress had five vertical strips that played peekaboo with a model's back. Veteran Max Azria and wunderkind Narciso Rodriguez revealed gowns that can be likened to mullets: business in the front, party in the back, with thick straps flowing in all directions. Andy & Debb, a Korean husband-wife duo who made their debut appearance on the New York catwalk, presented a cream dress with a row of diamond shapes. "The idea that New York is a melting pot—that applies to fashion," says Joe Zee, creative director of Elle. Backward thinking applies only to the dresses.