- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NEW YORK _ In every fairytale there’s a princess and a hero. Unless she comes to her own rescue.

Luxe textures, sheer fabrics and fitted shapes offering feminine twists on traditional men’s suiting are all over the runways at New York Fashion Week. It’s strength combined with confidence, boy style, by Day 5 of fall previews.

Prabal Gurung has his share of frilly princesses. But, as in the case of his muse for the season, Miss Havisham of Dickens fame, the knights don’t always show up.

“Her story is a lot about men,” said Gurung from the front row of his mentor Carolina Herrera’s show Monday.

Other designers mixed princess beauty and the strength of menswear.

Tommy Hilfiger sent classic tailoring and pinstripes down the catwalk. Donna Karan’s DKNY turned traditional men’s jackets into capes. Brian Wolk and Claude Morais looked to the history of menswear to please a Ruffian woman’s search for “unkempt elegance” via a white silk blouse with black bow tie and tailed jacket.

Paula Gerbase, the creative director for the Black label collection of Woolrich John Rich & Bros., trained on London’s Savile Row. No surprise she drew on 1940s hunting clothes to deconstruct the women’s line.

Take away the piping and the lining, she said, and “you’re actually left with a really soft, draped garment.”


We’ve seen the fashion future and it includes sequins that look like fur, rubber that looks like sequins and cellophane that looks like, well, cellophane.

Put those in alternating retro ladylike silhouettes and modern utility shapes, and you’ve got Jacobs‘ mashup fall collection.

Jacobs‘ show maintained its tradition of a midweek shake-up of trends. He is considered one of the most influential designers _ if not the most _ to show on this side of the Atlantic.

“I thought it was great,” said Virginia Smith, the Vogue fashion market director. “It was a mad mix of futuristic ‘40s.”

The grand show with a fully mirrored runway lined with padded columns was rapid fire: pencil skirts, high-neck blouses, sheer tops, duffel jackets and more textures than most people could digest.

Story Continues →