Marc Jacobs closed out New York Fashion Week Thursday with an ode to the hip-hop era. 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.
Here are other highlights from the week:
Thom Browne outdid himself with an ingenious show that paid tribute to the art of 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).
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To the accompaniment of a live orchestra, Michael Kors presented a diverse runway that included plus-sized model Ashley Graham rocking a charcoal ribbed tank dress with a silver fox shrug, and 43-year-old supermodels Amber Valletta and Carolyn Murphy.
“Since the very beginning, I have always thought that my job really … is dressing a huge variety of people of all ages, different body types, different heights, different ethnicities,” Kors said backstage, just before launching is 36th fall collection.
The collection was heavy on comfy sweaters, camel coats, and colorful furs. But there was also a decent dose of evening glam.
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Ralph Lauren transformed his Madison Avenue flagship store into an oasis of orchid-adorned walls and treated guests to their scent and the piped-in tweets of birds for a serene show of burnished gold and desert tones that had his models wending their way down a grand staircase through two floors, the crowd tucked away on cozy white couches and chairs.
The designer said in a statement that he was inspired by a “nomadic spirit, an exotic sophistication” contrasting classic shapes with rustic textures. Lauren included gowns and wide-leg trousers of shimmering gold and statement necklaces to match.
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Narciso Rodriguez presented a sleek, disciplined and beautifully tailored collection, thrilling fashion fans who might be wearying from some of the louder spectacles of Fashion Week.
And while some designers sent overt messages about the nation’s political and social turmoil – slogans on T-shirts, for example – Rodriguez was happy to let his craftsmanship do the talking. “No shenanigans anywhere,” he said, summing up his collection.
Standout garments included dresses and tops with ladder-like cutouts in front, adding a bit of spice to the impeccably tailored look. There were cropped pants, a few filmy black tops, and shimmering paillette dresses. There were sleek cashmere or wool coats in black, white, gray and copper, and a loosely fitting silk dress that looked impossibly soft.
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Brandon Maxwell presented a collection worn by models who stayed loose and relaxed, as did many of his silhouettes. He included looks in deep teal and pops of party-girl red, like a turtleneck sweater with two rows bell pleats that began above the wrist.
While true to his pencil skirts and elegant pleating detail in gowns, jackets and other looks, one wide-waisted ball skirt in shimmery black clearly made the model happy. A wide-trouser was paired with a fur-trimmed high collar and partial skirt. A fox fur coat was worn with a strapless gown with a layered bodice.
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In September, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia were named co-creative directors at Oscar de la Renta, replacing Peter Copping at the venerable luxury label. It was a return to the company where they’d both begun their careers. In the meantime, they’d launched their own fledgling label, Monse, which fast became a celebrity favorite.
They pulled off the feat of showing their two, quite different lines together in one big show.
The first item down the runway for Monse was a ruffled white shirt with oversized, cascading sleeves and bared shoulders. Exposed shoulders were a theme; dresses or sweaters, as in a roomy black turtleneck, often had one shoulder covered and one not.
Casual tops and dresses led to fancier outfits, in velvet or satin – or covered in sequins, as in a red-and-blue sequined tunic worn over black velvet cargo pants, and paired with red sequin pumps.
The Monse vibe was decidedly younger and edgiers, but those clothes, too, seemed to have taken on a new vibe. An example: a pale pink pantsuit revealed a huge silver sequined corset underneath. A classically shaped strapless cocktail dress was cleverly modernized with colorful “abstract brushstroke” embroidery, and with black suede thigh-high boots underneath, rather than strappy heels.
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Few women rock a white blouse like Carolina Herrera — it’s her personal signature garment. But there are lots of ways to make a white blouse, and the veteran designer presented a variety of those.
Herrera’s white shirts were all crisp, of course, but they came in different styles, and many of them sported bows: at the collar, around the waist, or on the puffs of sleeves.
Standouts were a stunning sleeveless teal gown with a V-neck and a black strip around the waist; a burgundy crocheted dress; and a gown with a black bodice and a tiered, black-and-white skirt.