- Associated Press - Sunday, September 9, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Bikini season may be over, but this is no time to tone down the workout. Many of the styles on the runway at New York Fashion Week flash a bit of skin here or there: bare midriffs, cutout backs, keyhole necklines.

The silhouettes in spring previews that entered a fourth day Sunday aren’t necessarily skin tight, but it’s not a season of full-on floaty frocks, either.

“We’ve gone so far away from overt sexiness, but the reality is, sex sells. At some point the shopper wants to be sexy,” said Hal Rubenstein, fashion director of InStyle magazine. “Illusion fabric on a shoulder or a little skin showing on a midriff gives you a hint without giving it all away.”

Victoria Beckham and DKNY continued the trend with bra-style tops, while many of Alexander Wang’s looks were seemingly held together by fishing wire. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week continues through Thursday before the fashion crowd heads to London, Milan and Paris.


ZAC POSEN

The audience had started griping about Zac Posen’s delayed start, but as soon as Naomi Campbell took that first step on the runway, there was a collective “aha.”

And then there was an “ooh.”

The spring collection was being modeled on the terrace of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall by many of the models who helped put Posen on the map a decade ago. Campbell, Erin O’Connor, Karolina Kurkova and Alek Wek were among the catwalkers who’d strut for the newbie because they were such fans of his masterfully made clothes.

Fast-forward to the new season, and Posen put them in romantic, glamorous gowns with the intricate, detailed, show-stopping sort of details that first won them over. Campbell wore a corseted daytime dress with a swingy dance hemline, setting the tone. The best of the gowns had either tons of tiny tulle pintucks, mermaid silhouettes or candy-ribbon peplums.

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG

Diane von Furstenberg called her spring collection “Palazzo.” “La Dolce Vita” also would have worked.

The muse has “the polish of a princess and the heart of a gypsy,” von Furstenberg said, and she travels from Rome to Marrakesh and then off to Jaipur, India.

She takes with her on this journey tunics and skinny-leg pants _ practically silk leggings _ to wear during the day, and a blood-orange scarf gown attached to a silver choker and cuff bracelets for the night. She brings her kiwi-green gown with a cutout neckline just in case she’ll need it for a last-minute, black-tie invitation.

The trip is definitely more play than work, a bit of a departure for von Furstenberg whose label often is the workhorse of a career woman. But these clothes fuel the fantasy she might be having at her desk.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin was on hand and Von Furstenberg and some of the models wore Google Glasses that were collecting video for a project to be released on Google-Plus and YouTube on Thursday.

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