- Associated Press - Sunday, February 13, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - In the flash of a shoe or burnished honeycombs of copper and gold, the fashion industry put a metallic shine on glamour for fall.

Not blinding bling, though. The sign of more optimistic times, without being irrational, arrived at New York Fashion Week in subtle threads, understated sequins and textured mosaics.

Victoria Beckham said it Sunday, on fashion week’s Day 4, with a loose V-neck caftan above the knee, and chiffon-covered resin bits around the neckline of a fitted dress for night.

Metallic thread embroidery draped with tulle over the shoulder of a delicate day dress was one of Lela Rose’s shining moments.

Elise Overland rocked her edgy ‘70s roots with a bright slicker coat quilted with silvery thread, and abalone-colored squares shimmering as accents on a mint top and dress.

There were metallics in pinks, greens and blues amid the gun colors, and Cynthia Rowley’s playful bows on heels.


For her favorite Upper East Side mansion runway venue, Beckham wore one of the loose, cashmere cocoon dresses that she said she found intimidating when she was more of a novice. The swing trapeze dress and a multi-metallic honeycomb in a caftanlike silhouette were also items she added to the collection with a surer hand.

These roomier designs take more work, but they are worth it so women can be fashionable _ as well as comfortable, explained Beckham, her hair pulled into a long ponytail. (She announced last month that she and husband David Beckham are expecting their fourth child.)

“I designed this collection before I knew I was pregnant,” she said with a laugh.

Using a palette she described as “desert brights,” Beckham offered a teal matte gazar V-neck cocoon that she said was “young red carpet,” but the finale gown in the same color and fabric was the one to talk about: It had chiffon-covered resin bits arranged in a mosaic pattern that looked like shards of shattered glass around the neckline.


Rotating, mirrored poles set sequins dancing on Diane Von Furstenberg’s runway in a trio of finale dresses for evening.

She showed off metallic gold in a gown with a deep V-neck both front and back, ending with one in blue, a backless red with high neck and long sleeves, and a touch of classic black. A metallic gold panel was worked into the vertical panels of an evening dress with a dramatic drape at one shoulder.

Fringe was everywhere in her “American Legends” collection for fall at New York Fashion Week. She put it on boots, round hats with wide flat brims and gaucho pants. It adorned a wool twill jacket, suede vest and felted twill coat _ all in black.

Von Furstenberg played with fabrics with fun shamrocks, hearts, stars and flowers.

Von Furstenberg admirers Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and Fergie sat in the front row.


She offered a broad-stroke collection that covered the full wardrobe needs of her well-heeled customer.

For daytime, there was a green cashmere crew-neck top with sculpted shoulders paired with a canvas pencil skirt covered in the colors and textures of an oil-painter’s palette.

A black dress with a dropped waist and a blanket-style, hand-loomed organza skirt with a bow at the hip was just right for a dressy dinner. A black-filament embroidered miniskirt _ worn with a slouchy blouse _ was electricity on the runway.

“I dress this way every day,” Rose said of her never-casual clothes in a recent interview. “I am always in a dress _ or something that’s `dressed.’ And I love to wear cute shoes with it. I feel better about myself this way. I like to be turned out.”

The shiny copper burnished brocade on an open-neck dress would draw the wearer lots of well-deserved attention.


Downtown cool was downright frigid for Elise Overland’s models as they stood outdoors with an urban igloo as a backdrop to present her fall line at an ice rink.

Skaters drifted around them in Overland designs outside The Standard hotel and Johnny Weir closed with a finale skate before warming up in a metallic floor-length robe of silver.

Overland’s ‘70s rock roots showed up in a shiny print of grass green, mauve and orange she used on a quilted jacket and a long-sleeved dress.

The Norwegian-born Overland worked in mint against quilted squares of shimmery abalone that accented textured cropped tops and a belted jacket dress.

The designer ventured onto the ice herself in heels for a farewell with her famous skater guest.

Wonder if the models got any of the free hot chocolate.


The young favorite of first lady Michelle Obama created belted down jackets, vests and coats using a bright blue and red “Masai” plaid.

He gathered another tribal print of daffodil and olive into a miniskirt in front with a train behind, paired with a black zip top.

Golden yellow fabric trimmed with mink hung behind a model’s shoulder on one charmeuse dress. Another was in brilliant purple. A nubby tweed in yellow and black was used on a sleeveless blazer paired with black denim cigarette pants.

Thakoon designs have an “unexpected modernity,” said Ken Downing, fashion director for Neiman Marcus, before the show began.

“He’s really brilliant at cutting a dress,” Downing said. “There’s a lovely romance to it. What we love about Thakoon is that he loves that splash of color.”


Lam played with texture and layers, experimenting with new fabrics to achieve a winter-friendly look without the bulk.

Lush fur and fuzzy shearling played against supple lambskins and doubleface wool, with fluid, silklike layers underneath. Lam used a subtle palette of black, indigo, smoke blue and olive with strategic splashes of red and burgandy, as in the small touches on a chintz tweed trouser.

In his notes, Lam said he lightened the sleeves and backs of heavier garments to help with cold-weather layering, and turned to more lightweight fabrics to “blur the idea of seasonal clothing.”

But he was most inspired by new textiles. As prices have risen for materials like cashmere and silk, he wrote, fabric mills responded by mixing in less expensive yarn and coming up with new treatments, like the chemical pressing of soft challis to give it more loft and texture. He called the resulting fabrics “very unique and modern.”


He found strength in numbers, mixing materials, prints and scale.

It was an homage to his customer, he explained in his notes, because “she appreciates the discovery in the everyday and reflects it in her personal style.”

Lippes flies a bit under the radar, but the recent acquisition of the Adam label by Kellwood _ while leaving Lippes in charge creatively _ could mean a bigger splash at some point.

The clothes, while not headline-grabbing red carpet numbers, are ready for more attention. He offered for the new season a nice mix of modern, wearable styles, including the opening look that paired a lace T-shirt with a cobalt buffalo-plaid skirt and the finale gold-embroidered dress that used a slight asymmetrical hemline to give the silhouette a little freedom and movement.

Outerwear, though, was really the highlight, especially blanket-style coats.


You know what’s even better than a boyfriend’s blazer on a chilly New York afternoon?

The menswear-inspired cape by Donna Karan’s DKNY line. It’s the designer’s favorite from her fall collection.

The cape, with strong shoulders and a loose body, fit in nicely with outfits that alternated between neat and tailored, and sexy softness found in angora sweaters, faux furs and shearlings.

Tweeds were spiced up with a subtle metallic sheen.

The brand targets a contemporary consumer, and she’d look great in the white collars on black fitted minidresses _ one in lace and the other shredded silk on the bodice. Think naughty schoolgirl.

Different textures were all over the place, but with the palette strongly rooted in black with touches of cream, gray and navy, and pops of bright lipstick-worthy pink and red, there was enough consistency to be interesting, not chaotic.


He punctuated earth tones of olive, brown, gray and black with bright orange and teal in a collection influenced by menswear in fabric and cut.

A loose olive silk georgette tunic was paired with close-to-the-body leather pants. Models walked in modest shirt and coat dresses, and wool jumpsuits.

Azria rolled out some outerwear that included a felt, hooded cape in olive and a wool scarf worn over one shoulder and belted at the waist.

A gray wool sweater was also belted over a flowing apricot satin skirt.

Jennifer Love Hewitt, who wore a red Azria dress in the front row, saw glamour for any occasion. “You can dress it up or you can dress it down, and it’s sort of the all-day glamour,” she said.


Associated Press Lifestyles Editor Lisa Tolin and writers Caryn Rousseau and Leanne Italie contributed to this story.

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