Starlets, Klum get refined at NY Fashion Week

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From Carolyn Murphy’s opening crocodile-like leather sheath to the navy silk tulle harness gown with embroidery that closed the show, the look was slim and sophisticated. Lace insets, bra tops, sheer fabrics and sharp tuxedos turned into shorts kept lively what were really refined, classic silhouettes.

Wu, in a backstage interview, said he was inspired by two photographers with differing styles _ Helmut Newton and Lillian Basman. It was the second show in the early going to make specific reference to Newton, which could explain the dominance of black and white. It was also the second to put leather harnesses on the models to give them a little bit of edge. They topped a white-lace embroidered shirt worn with black croc shorts, and over a pink lace sheath that also got a little bounce from a peplum.

One would imagine that first lady Michelle Obama, who helped propel Wu to hot-ticket status after she wore his gown to the 2008 inauguration, would wear her black-and-white “ghost print” satin sheath with organza insets sans leather hardware.

RAG & BONE

The layers were lovely in the preview of next spring’s Rag & Bone collection. They weren’t “too much” _ though the models in heaps of leather and lace in a steamy, raw space might have disagreed.

You wouldn’t have known it to look at them, though, especially finale model Karlie Kloss, who had on a coral ripstop poncho.

Each look oozed the cool vibe that designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright have mastered.

Tough leather, sometimes quilted motocross style, mixed seamlessly with both the ladylike peeks of lace and the menswear-inspired shirts. Confirming a few trends in the first two days of seasonal previews, Rag & Bone flashed some skin with strategic cutouts, did the hoodie thing and played with the proportion of the trenchcoat. Once they’re on this runway, they’re likely here to stay.

NICOLE MILLER

Prints in skinny pants, flouncy tops and dresses dominated Nicole Miller’s runway with a sci-fi, bad-girl feel.

In sparse notes, Miller said she was inspired by the “juxtaposition of improbable things” and “digital nature.” There were earthy splotches in a print she called “space clouds” on a long, feather-light train paired with a short black skirt and a tight leather sleeveless crop top.

Dresses in a futuristic floral of coral and bright greens and blues were worn with black leather. One model had long, straight hair streaked in colors to match the print.

Beadwork popped on the sleeves of a T-shirt in the same “future flora” print. Miller also used bead embellishment on a crop top in blush and blue, paired with a cobalt leather skirt, and with a variety of other pieces.

REBECCA MINKOFF

Sun-bleached floral prints, summery tweeds and lace lent Rebecca Minkoff’s runway show a laid-back feel.

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