- 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, sitting with the designer’s sister, Samantha.

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.


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. Men got an update of the "sweat suit" _ a tailored jacket-trouser set in a casual cotton fabric.

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 at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was playful _ thanks to a color palette that ranged from teal to coral and prints inspired by the good-luck symbols from voodoo flags. She said she wanted to capture the passion of the street during Carnival.

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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