- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 13, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) — Fur made a comeback Saturday at New York Fashion Week.

There were more fur coats on the runways of Peter Som, Prabal Gurung and Adam by Adam Lippes than in recent seasons. Alexander Wang had a cool leather trenchcoat with a strip of mink running entirely down the back.

“I believe people will buy fur in the fall. It keeps you warm,” said Bloomingdale’s fashion director Stephanie Solomon. “And for those who don’t like the idea of fur, there is great faux fur.”

Another option: Mongolian lambswool — a fuzzy, almost featherlike material — has emerged as a popular alternative.

Som showed almost muppet-like versions of the wool in hot pink and electric blue, but the fabric was also on display at Adam and as trim on dresses and shirts by other designers.

Fur has been more rare in recent seasons as luxury turned more discreet, so lambswool may be a more acceptable alternative. In Som’s rendering, it still makes a statement, without being in-your-face luxurious.

ALEXANDER WANG

Alexander Wang has already collected a slew of “young designer” awards, so it was time to present a more grown-up collection. He did that Saturday with forward-thinking fashion and an eye on a more luxe, sophisticated customer.

She’s still quite young, though, or at least willing to show some skin. Top models clearly don’t mind: Both Natalia Vodianova and Agyness Deyn walked in the show.

Inventive knits, tailoring and a touch of fur here and there put him in a different league than his athlete-inspired spring line. Men’s waistcoats and pinstripe vests transformed into sexy minidresses, especially those that mixed in some ultra-delicate lace, and his “caterpillar” chenille knit had a softness that’s new to Wang’s look.

Layering was key to the overall vibe — mixing textures of the wool, velvet, mohair and mink. Cutouts were strategically placed lest the wearer started to feel too wintry.

Black dominated the palette, as it has on most catwalks so far, but color isn’t the big takeaway from the Wang show. “I have a feeling layering is going to be the big message,” said Cindy Weber Cleary, InStyle magazine fashion director.

RAG & BONE

The cool girls will probably be wearing a lot of menswear styles in the fall.

Rag & Bone, which has become a bellwether brand for downtown hipsters, debuted a collection Friday that was rooted in tailored suits but stayed quirky and feminine thanks to tweaks in proportion and styling.

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