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The audience whispered its confusion. Was this all there was? Then a hostess came in to start the party. She cranked up an old phonograph. Cole Porter tunes filled the room.

The clothes had both a ‘20s flapper feel and a futuristic accent. Browne likes jackets, and here he played with shoulders, exaggerating them so they looked at times like stylish space suits. He also played with lengths. A trouser would begin at mid-thigh. Or a schoolgirl plaid skirt with suspenders would begin below the knees, the derriere covered by something completely unrelated.


Somehow the models didn’t break a sweat. But it was a sultry affair at the Marc by Marc Jacobs show inside the cavernous New York State Armory.

No matter _ they packed in anyway for a glimpse at Jacobs’ secondary line, which featured sporty looks in bright colors like electric orange, flame scarlet and fresh grass. Ruffles, more precisely peplums, were big for the girls, striped pants in bright colors for the boys.

One felt a little sorry for the models who had to sport coats, though thankfully most of the outerwear was in cotton twill. Luckier were the few who got to wear bathing suits.

And speaking of bathing suits, hurray for the one-piece! There were no bikinis in sight, but three one-pieces, all adorable, especially one in flame scarlet with a peplum to give it some sass. Also sharp was a ruffle-less striped version.

Elle Fanning braved the air-conditionless show.


Gwen Stefani’s LAMB collection came to New York Fashion Week, even if she didn’t.

Instead of the big runway shows the line has put together the last few fashion cycles, there was a smaller presentation of two dozen styles. But, this is Gwen Stefani _ and the line to get in was long Sunday.

She built on her vision from the fall of a hipster muse who has a richer life than nightclubs. Someone who works, someone who goes out at night _ maybe even someone with little kids. Sound like anyone you know?

Look for her come spring in a halter-style babydoll dress, houndstooth culottes and a checkered, utilitarian jumpsuit with a drawstring waist. The red-carpet photographers might capture her in a long black T-shirt dress with a blue vertical stripe down the middle or gold cargo shorts with a sheer black V-neck top.


Big comfortable pieces like an oversize knit sweater in neon yellow was paired with a tight leather skirt, and a bright white form fitting, belted dress had a soft ruffle at the hemline just above the knee.

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