- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - The final day of New York Fashion Week was marked by the sound of silence from Marc Jacobs, who presented a show with no set, no lighting and no soundtrack. Elsewhere, Hillary Clinton was on hand to honor her late friend Oscar de la Renta. A night earlier, Marchesa looked to Asia for inspiration, and Thom Browne created a winter wonderland in flannels and tweed.

Some highlights:



When they go loud, he goes silent.

Leave it to Marc Jacobs to find another way to shake things up a bit at New York Fashion Week. In his traditional Thursday afternoon slot closing out the week, he presented a runway show in utter silence, letting the clothes do the talking in the most literal sense.

About 320 guests were ushered into the Park Avenue Armory, where Jacobs often shows; this time, though, there was no decor, simply two rows of folding chairs facing each other. At precisely the start time of 2 p.m., models started walking between the folding chairs. When they were done, Jacobs, clad all in black, took a quick lap through the room, past guests like Katy Perry, director Sofia Coppola, Lil’ Kim, and “Girls” actress Zosia Mamet.

As for the clothes, they were an ode to the hip-hop era, inspired by a documentary called “Hip-Hop Evolution” that he watched a few months ago, Jacobs explained.

“As a born and bred New Yorker, it was during my time at the High School of Art and Design when I began to see and feel the influence of hip-hop on other music as well as art and style,” Jacobs wrote in show notes, adding that the collection was “my representation of the well-studied dressing up of casual sportswear” as well as his “respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion from a generation that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style.”

The clothes were almost all in neutral shades of camel and brown, with some sparkly gold sprinkled in liberally, and the occasional splash of bright red.

There were lots of coats and jackets - in plaid or in fur, or shearling-lined corduroy. They often came over miniskirts or track suits. Many models wore exaggerated bowler or bobby hats by master milliner Stephen Jones, inspired by the style of hip hop artist Andre 3000. Chunky platform shoes or boots were accompanied by a wide variety of casual handbags in different sizes and types of leather.

As for jewelry, there were chunky gold chains bearing “mice pendants.” One model wore a large, sparkling key earring.

Kendall Jenner wore a maroon trouser suit with an oversized jacket, a gray sweater, and a large gray woolen hat.

After the show ended, the models gathered outside - this time, music was allowed, and huge speakers were set up on Park Avenue - and posed for photographers as onlookers gaped across the barriers.

- Jocelyn Noveck



Hillary Clinton used a ceremony honoring Oscar de la Renta to celebrate the contributions of immigrants like the Dominican-born fashion designer.

Speaking at a U.S. Postal Service ceremony dedicating a series of 11 stamps honoring de la Renta, Clinton said the designer was an immigrant, “and aren’t we proud and grateful that he was?”

“Let there be many, many more immigrants with the love of America that Oscar de la Renta exemplified every single day,” she added.

De la Renta, who died in 2014 at age 82, dressed every first lady from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama. First daughter Ivanka Trump carried on the tradition by wearing his company’s designs during last month’s daytime inauguration festivities.

Clinton did not directly address her presidential election loss to Ivanka’s father, Donald Trump, but she alluded to the president obliquely in remarks praising immigrants and the U.S. Constitution.

She said de la Renta was “a fitting person to be chosen by our Postal Service - mentioned, by the way, in the Constitution, something we should all read and reread in today’s times.”

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who joined Clinton, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and others at the ceremony at New York’s Grand Central Terminal, also praised de la Renta as a proud Dominican immigrant.

“Our country is great because we welcome people from around the world. They come here to work hard and build a better future for their families, no matter where they come from,” said Bloomberg, a political independent who endorsed Clinton, a Democrat, for president.

- Karen Matthews



At the end of a long day, after a crowded week of shows at New York Fashion Week, fashionistas crowded into the lobby of a Chelsea gallery, waiting to be energized and revived by whatever burst of creativity was going to come from Thom Browne. The designer’s shows are like living art exhibits, and they’re always one of the top tickets of the week.

Browne did not disappoint; in fact, he outdid himself Wednesday night with an ingenious show that paid tribute to the art of tailoring. It also paid tribute, in no specific order, to ice skating, penguins, tuxedoes, and to Browne’s beloved canine companion, Hector. Was Hector in the audience to enjoy his tribute? You bet he was.

Arriving on the gallery’s bottom floor, guests walked into a winter wonderland in shades of gray. Browne had constructed a lake, surrounded by trees and shrubs. There was a rowboat with oars; a penguin perched atop a rocky embankment. Everything, down to the leaves and plants, was covered with Browne’s fabrics - a pastoral scene in herringbone and pinstripes and flannel.

Models came out in a slow procession, each outfit a new take on the art of precise, high-end tailoring. It began in all grays, then segued to color, and finally concluded in black and white. There were 50 looks, all riffs on the perfectly formed jacket or overcoat.

There wasn’t a dress in sight; Browne’s purpose was to show that men’s and women’s clothes come from the same place. (He is still more famous for his menswear). In fact, one model at the end wore a sewn-on, tongue-in-cheek button depicting a dress, with a red line through it. “Just say No to dresses,” was the humorous message.

There were suits of all kinds: Suits with skirts, with woolen Bermuda shorts, with trousers. There were embroidered penguins - in black leather on white, or in the “preppy” style usually devoted to whales. “Penguins are just a really fun animal,” Browne quipped.

The shoes were inventive takes on the ice skate, with wedges instead of blades. And the hairstyling was even more unusual: body-length fabric braids in gray and white, cascading down the models’ backs. Finally, there were the lips: cutouts of tweed fabric in exaggerated lip shapes, covering the mouth.

It all culminated in a finale that had a bride entering the scene with a flowing train - only the bride was in a puffer coat, and the train was a puffer train.

“I do like people to see that I do more than just make clothes,” Browne said. Mission accomplished.

- Jocelyn Noveck



In vibrant color and heavy embellishment, the design duo of Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig put out a Marchesa collection true to their signature: ethereal gowns and stunning floral designs.

This season, they looked to China.

“We’ve been working on it for quite a long time, starting with the reference point of Imperial China and looking at a lot of that sort of feeling, and looking at rich, decadent textiles and fabrics,” Craig said in a backstage interview Wednesday.

As always, they brought out a healthy crop of celebrities, including Olivia Culpo, Mandy Moore and Chapman’s hubby, film producer Harvey Weinstein, who chatted with Vogue’s Anna Wintour about his movie “Lion” as they sat front row.

“I mean, if you are looking for sort of the ultimate, feminine, empowering, beautiful sort of award-worthy collection,” said Moore, “Marchesa is at the top of that list.”

Culpo, a friend of Chapman, shared that she would be wearing a dress designed by Marchesa to the Oscars next week.

Chapman and Craig established their high-end brand in 2004 and now design their own accessories, including shoes, jewelry and purses.

- Gina Abdy

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