- Associated Press - Monday, September 12, 2011

NEW YORK _ An easy spring elegance, deceitfully simple but never sloppy, brought a bit of good clean fun to New York Fashion Week as the twice-annual round of frenzied runway shows moved into the fifth day Monday.

The secret, Carolina Herrera said, is in the details. Look to tailoring that appears simple, when it really isn’t, or loose without crossing into ‘70s redux or boho slouch.

“Fashion has to have details and it’s a way of doing them in a very simple way that they look effortless,” she said. “That’s what fashion should be: effortless and fun.”

Rachel Roy reimagined the easy elegance of the 1992 film “The Lover,” set in steamy, 1929 French Indochina. She wondered, with the sound turned down, how the teen lover would have looked in the summer suits of her wealthy paramour.

“I wanted the look to be loose but not sloppy,” she said. “Something felt classy about how he put himself together but it was never too buttoned up.”

She offered pajama pieces, like the Olsen twins at The Row, and loose trousers as many designers did this time around. Roy also offered cascading skirts that looked as if the fabric was wrapped around the body and pinned ever so lightly at the waist.

Fashion Week moves to London, then Milan and Paris when it wraps up in New York on Thursday.


Herrera, who seems to never have a wrinkle in her skirt, not a hair out of place, has a playful side, too.

A shirtdress got oversized pockets and a delicate red cocktail dress was made of seersucker silk.

It’s not Herrera’s way to make things too fussy, even when there’s a lot going on. A black-and-blue gown was as soft and pretty as you’d expect from the designer, even though it was covered in sharp-edge embroidery.

Making things look simple can be one of the hardest things to do, she said.


There’s something romantic about women in men’s clothes. Even more so with an unexpected feminine touch.

That’s what Roy set out to do. Tailored menswear styles ooze power, she said, and she likes that. For evening, there was a sculptural, folded gown with an open neckline in a floral print that was feminine without being prissy.

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