- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 6, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) - Designers at New York Fashion week heard London calling _ from 1975.

The looks of the London youth movment in the years when mod morphed into punk dominated runways Saturday in the second day of spring previews. Short skirts and tight pants kept the skinny profile fresh, paired with _ what else? _ edgy black.

Charlotte Ronson played on the theme to a crowd that included Lindsay Lohan in a denim corset dress with bright blue pumps.

Rag & Bone designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville were taken with the era after watching the Anton Corbijn film “Control” about the British band Joy Division. Their collection Friday wasn’t the only ones inspired by the era’s nonconformity, and the Fashion Rock concert featured a tribute to punk led by Fergie.

The look was in contrast to another emerging trend at the Bryant Park tents: easy, vacation-bound elegance. New York Fashion Week runs through Sept. 12, with more than 100 shows over eight days.


Rock & Republic sees next spring’s styles in black and white _ with nothing in between. Saturday’s runway presentation was all about micro minis or long and lean pants, with nary a color in sight.

For a brand that made its name in denim, the emphasis was on formfitting dresses, all but a handful of which were barely long enough to cover the models’ undergarments. One black dress with all-over ruching actually looked more like a retro-style bathing suit.

Still, some of the emerging spring trends were represented, including one-shoulder tops, zipper details and skinny jeans that pooled around the ankles, draping around towering platform heels. And the only thing skinnier than the legs on the guys’ jeans were the ties.


There was something for the nice girl _ as well as something for the naughty one _ on the Abaete catwalk.

Designer Laura Poretzky described her spring collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as the “dichotomy of the two sides of a woman.” A cute chambray sundress with a ruffled front and petticoat underneath shared the runway with skintight bodysuits with mesh side panels.

Abaete also furthered some trends that appear to be on the horizon: corset-style dresses, one-shoulder tops and killer gladiator platform sandals. Poretzky’s version, which will be available at Payless, had a zipper on the back of the ankle to give a hard-rock edge to the shoe.

Her muse wears everything from mod dresses with contrasts of black and white with pops of bright sorbet colors, to flirty shirred skirts that barely reached the middle of the thigh.


With two celebrity DJ siblings (including Lohan gal pal Samantha), Charlotte Ronson knows the club crowd. With her spring fashion collection, she showed she can dress them too.

There was a hint of irony in many of the outfits, such as a gingham print gone sexy thanks to a sheer fabric and a knit bustier top paired with skinny-leg sweatpants. And almost all the looks were worn with fishnet socks and platform shoes with towering heels.

But even with those young urban looks, Ronson proved she could court a more sophisticated customer with a corset-style dress in a subtle cheetah-print pique fabric and a feminine ruffle-front frock in a floral pattern that blended coral, lavender and brown.

Ronson also showed a knack for knits, including a sweater dress in teal and blush pink with cutout shoulders.


Lacoste broke down its new collection into three different types of crocodiles, playing off the brand’s famous logo: the silver croc, the sporty croc and the hipster croc.

Designer Christophe Lemaire brought the silver type to the Mediterranean, offering long, relaxed button-front dresses over a retro mailot or crocheted bikini for the daytime, and a sexy halter top with a plunging V-neck paired with wide-leg linen gauchos for the evening.

The palette was sepia tones of brown, dusty pink and off-white, the same colors used for the stripes of an adorable sportier tennis dress with a lace-up neckline. Shorts for women were super-shrunken, while the men’s shorts hit the mid thigh.

The silhouette got even smaller with the more urban styles, inspired by the mod 60s. “Slim-fit cuts are the rule rather than the exception in this new line,” the designer said.


Nicole Miller aimed to demonstrate with her spring collection that cheerfulness and sophistication are not mutually exclusive.

The vibe at her show Friday night was playful thanks to a color palette that ranged from teal to coral and prints inspired by the good-luck symbols from voodoo flags.

Dresses are Miller’s specialty and she didn’t disappoint with draped silhouettes that followed an emerging trend of casual elegance. The best ones included a scarf-print jersey one, a purple racer-back gown and a green-yellow linen viscose gown with one strap beaded with crystals.

On some pieces, though, Miller went overboard with fabric, putting a giant ruffle on the shoulder of tops that she called spirit wings. Also, cropped harem pants with too-roomy thighs and a tight band just below the knee would be hard for any woman without model legs to pull off.


Erin Fetherston floated her newest collection down the runway, mining both the daytime and nighttime skies with a theme of “east of the sun and west of the moon.”

The first outfit on the runway Friday night was a stunner: an asymmetrical white chiffon tank, “sunburst” jacquard pants in yellow and white with extremely exaggerated wide legs and a shimmery sequin sash. It sent the tone for one ethereal outfit after another _ most of which married sexiness and femininity in white or light, pastel colors. There also was a beautiful watercolor-style print that mixed blue, blush, light yellow and green.

But the gimmick went too far with silhouettes that mimicked the clouds with giant puffs of fabric, sometimes on the shoulder, sometimes on the hem, and, worse, sometimes around the hips.

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