Designers Put Wearable Clothes on the Runway at New York Fashion Week
2/6/2006 8:34 PM PT
By SAMANTHA CRITCHELL, AP FASHION WRITER
Working women rejoice: You'll actually have stylish-yet-appropriate clothes to wear next fall. Even better, there also will be clothes for you to wear to dinner, parties and play dates -- with or without the kids.
The collections previewed on the runways in the opening days of New York Fashion Week were mostly wearable. But there were some misses, too, especially the short bubble skirts and knickers that have graced more than one catwalk.
Designer shows continue through Friday with Chanel and Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld making his runway debut in New York with his new Karl Lagerfeld/Lagerfeld Collection as the finale.
Carolina Herrera: Shirtdresses return to the wardrobe -- even as gowns. Herrera turned bright red silk into a basketweave shirtgown, jazzing it up to be black-tie worthy with a beaded belt.
She also sent several suits down therunway Monday morning. The skirt suits, in a rust plaid, werefitted and to the knee, the pants had wide cuffed legs.
An emerging trend for fur is shearing itso close that it looks like soft velvet. Herrera used thattechnique for the sleeves on a black and brown wool dress that wasotherwise simple -- and very sophisticated.
Herrera matched coats with cocktaildresses to create a complete outfit, and the chocolate broadtailcoat with a turquoise swirl print lining with a pleated straplessdress in the same fabric was a standout.
Diane von Furstenberg: Von Furstenbergon Sunday brought back the '80s power suit, down to the slim pencilskirts with high waists, puffy sleeves and oversizedlumberjack-check and houndstooth prints. But von Furstenbergmodernized the look by slimming the silhouette and adding femininedetails, such as a peplum on a jacket or using a rosebud-printchiffon fabric for a blouse.
The newest incarnation of her wrapdress, which she first put on the runway in 1975, had a fullerskirt and was made in brushed cotton and suede instead of theclassic jersey.
A black belted shirtdress with verticalpleats was one of those chic outfits that easily go from day tonight.
Badgley Mischka: It was a subtle shift,but to mark their return to Fashion Week after sitting out a fewseasons, eveningwear designers Mark Badgley and James Mischkadecided to court the funkier Grammy crowd instead of the more staidOscar-goers.
Several styles featured accordian-stylevertical pleats. The best were a bright yellow strapless cocktaildress with a bow under the bust, and a printed silk satin andchiffon gown in plum, black and white.
The duo also offered a cool daytime look-- at least a daytime look for celebrities: sheared mink skirtswith unsheared mink hemlines.
However, a shapeless red dress with aseparate piece of fabric in the back that stretched from the neckto the mid-thigh hem looked a bit like a boat's sail -- and it wasa dud.
The show closed with an unexpected blacksatin trench coat with a skull made out of fancy beads on theback.
Luella Bartley: Londoner Bartley offeredsomething for the woman who likes the look of both country croonersand punk rocker, but still dresses up in a dress with a pearlcollar and bow around her waist for tea with her grandmother.
Shrunken jackets, one in texturedleather with studs and another decorated with pearls, looked hipwith tailored trousers or super skinny jeans. A light pink patentleather trenchcoat was a lighthearted version of a practicalitem.
But even the young customer who likesBartley's playful style probably would think twice before puttingon the puffy micro-miniskirts that looked like Cinderella ballgownsafter the evil stepsisters took their scissors to them.
Tuleh: Tuleh's socialite customer willhave to go even lighter on their low-fat fare to get into BryanBradley's new long, skinny skirts, but it's all in the name of asuper-polished look.
Most of the skirts had high waists andhit below the knee, and were worn with booties with wooden, stackedheels.
Bradley also played with proportion,offering a loose satin blouson top with a high neck in the frontand a big cutout in the back, and a puff-sleeve short fur jacket. Atop with sleeves made of cascading feathers didn't work,though.
DKNY: Donna Karan's DKNY line is aimedat her younger customers and has more of New York's street stylethan her signature collection. But with this fall's offerings,anyone could wear the outfits.
Easy, chic dresses had loose tops andskirts with gathered high waists to show off the best parts of awoman's shape. A wine-colored mohair sweater coat was the kind ofcomfortable cocoon that can be worn on a Sunday stroll -- and intoa nice restaurant if you get hungry along the way.
There were some schoolgirl-inspiredlooks, too, but they had a sophisticated edge that kept them frombeing cartoonish. Satin mini bubble skirts, paired with georgetteT-shirts and cropped cardigan sweaters, looked cute on the runway,but the tissue silk skirts that hit just below the knee would bemuch easier to wear.
Tracy Reese: Reese's signature style is"pretty" and for fall she did it again. However, she didn't gooverly girlie, except for a few too many bows on dresses thatdidn't need them.
The collection was cohesive -- but notcluttered -- as Reese debuted her accessories collection.
Her wide patent leather belts with goldhardware were worn high on the waist over a black V-shaped vest andcream-colored shirt with oversized sleeves, and again with a blacktribal beaded blouse and flowing skirt. Leather booties with thickheels that tied at the top looked clunky with some of the dresses,though.
For dressing up, a blue floral sequinedshift glimmered like an ocean and a berry-colored long tiered dresshad a tank neckline alternately decorated by ethnic brown beads andglamorous purple crystals.