NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press is all over New York Fashion Week, from its runway fashions to celebrity-packed events. Here's what some AP writers are seeing:
A CUPPA ON A FREEZING DAY, AT VICTORIA BECKHAM
Every Brit knows there's nothing like a cuppa on a bitter cold day. And so, guests at Victoria Beckham's runway show Sunday morning were treated to hot tea — in glass cups — as they arrived at Cipriani Wall Street on the coldest New York City day in years.
As for the fashions, they were warm, too, but the fall-winter fabrics were given a sexy twist, falling closer to the body than usual. Beckham also used slits and cutouts to bare a little more skin that one normally sees in winter fashions. Draping was fanciful, including a very pretty sarong-like effect from the waist down on some dresses.
Beckham, in a post-show interview, said if there were one word to describe the collection, it would be "Bounce."
"By bounce, I mean fabrics that are young and fresh," Beckham said backstage, where she greeted her handsomely dressed sons, her young daughter, and hubby David Beckham, in a sleek long topcoat.
"I love the texture," Beckham continued. "They're light as well. It's very important that, yes, these things look good on the catwalk, but I'm selling clothes all around the world. I have to take into account the weight of fabrics. So that bouncy fabric is really nice and wearable. "
Beckham professed to having a little more fun this time around. "I wanted to play," she said. "So I have lots of very sexy, tightly fitted dresses. You know I did have a little bit of fun and I think you can see that." She's hearing, she said, that her clothes are starting to draw a younger customer, as well as her usual fan base.
"I think I've come a long way," she said. "I'm really proud of myself and my team."
PUBLIC SCHOOL ELEVATES WOMENSWEAR
Public School put the cool in shades of grey, the name of the design duo's production company and a signature palette that now extends seamlessly to their third season doing womenswear.
Impeccable grey and black bomber jackets, puffer coats and anoraks came in wool and nylon for both sexes, covering long tunics with side slits and maxi-length pleated skirts Saturday.
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne have been celebrating the streets of their New York City since Public School was founded in 2008 and that hasn't changed, but their latest collection for fall felt somehow grown up — without a loss of street cred.
Switching headspace for the ladies has not been a problem, the two said after the show. Jenna Lyons, creative director of J.Crew and a longtime fashion insider, agreed.
"Oftentimes when people do menswear and womenswear, sometimes there's a big disconnect between the two, but I feel like the spirit they initiated in menswear feels very clearly adjusted toward women's," she said. "Oftentimes that can go in a totally different direction."
The emerging Public School look for women, Lyons said, isn't about throwing on a dress and heading out the door.
"There's always, like, a secret pocket. There's multiple layers. A vest has a sleeve that comes off. They've translated that ethos into the womenswear. It isn't just about one thing. It's about how you layer and multiple tiers of proportion. I love that," she said.
Chow said the two will never break from the Public School "code," in color and cut, but wanted to go deep into the '90s this time and explore the dance cypher world, a convergence of streets styles done in groups.
"Each season gets tweaked a bit," Osborne added, "but it always starts in the same place."
STOCKING CAPS AT HOOD BY AIR
It was a very particular kind of stocking cap that the models — male and female — wore at the Hoody By Air show Sunday: pantyhose, pulled tightly across the face and tied securely at the back of the neck.
Yes, it did look a bit menacing, and futuristic, too — particularly with that face paint and gold hardware underneath the gauzy mesh. But designer Shayne Oliver said the idea was something more ambiguous: "the allure of fear."
"It's sort of how the person you fear the most is the person you'd be attracted to the most, too — there's a tension," Oliver said in a post-show interview. "The person was supposed to look unapproachable, but not scary."
The Brooklyn-based Oliver, 27, has been a fast riser in the fashion world of late. Known primarily for his menswear, heavily influenced by street style, he's now moving slowly into women's designs as well.
"I like to keep it exciting for myself," he said. "Womenswear gives me a breath of fresh air in the design process. It just feels exciting." Oliver was noncommittal, though, about whether he'd make a full-fledged launch into women's attire. "I don't know yet. It's totally a different world. How I took my time to get into runway fashion is also how I'll take my time to get into womenswear."
Oliver added that he was thinking more this season about comfort than ever before. "I've been feeling like if you're going to create a wardrobe you might as well be as comfortable as possible," he said. "So I was thinking of, your favorite blanket or something like that — by playing with furs, for example, and with loose, wide-fitting pants."
DKNY GOES SOCIAL MEDIA CRAZY
The backdrop of Sunday's DKNY runway was a screen with a simple question: "What is New York?"
That was before the show. As the models walked, the screen projected live tweets from the audience with a multitude of answers.
"Everything all the time," was one offering. Another: "Expectations are high and the heels are higher."
Donna Karan's more casual and less expensive line, when compared to her signature collection, was a mixture for fall of asymmetrical cuts and loose silhouettes. She didn't stray from classic cold weather colors, showing beige, black and grey, punctuated by splashes of turquoise, purple and red.
The line is for the woman on the move that needs a versatile wardrobe for her day-to-day life.
"I think it is for that woman who rocks and rolls, goes to work, goes out at night and is ready for anything but has a confidence in herself, which I think ... is most important — that she is self-confident — to be able to pull all those clothes together," Karan said in an interview.
JOSEPH ALTUZARRA'S DANDIES AND SWANS
In fox fur and houndstooth, the luxury ready-to-wear golden boy evoked the dandies of the 18th century and the inner-circle "swans" of Truman Capote.
Would Gloria Vanderbilt, Babe Paley, Slim Keith, Lee Radziwill or Gloria Guinness feel right in his long, camel wool flannel coat with the flounce hem and outsized sapphire fur collar? How about the caramel houndstooth blazer with a single button?
Well, yeah. But they'd probably lose the white leather knee-high lace-up boots and see-through Chantilly lace blouses that accompanied some standout skirts and fur jackets.
The Paris-born Altuzarra launched his brand in New York in 2008. He brings his multicultural roots — Mom is Chinese-American and Dad is French Basque — to most collections, but this one tasted just a bit more like good 'ole apple pie.
There was a show of Tibetan sequin embroidery in '70s swingy chiffon dresses done in navy, burgundy and pale blue, along with a touch of delicate velvet. But it was his lush fur collars on coats, flippy hems on coats and skirts and feminine touches in lace, like a keyhole opening on blouses, that made the fall collection stand out from previous turns.
This time around he also offered his first handbag collection, "Notch." The hobo and saddlebag shapes sported braided tasseled straps and gold hardware.
BANANA REPUBLIC GOES HIGH FASHION
Forget the traditional office wear. Banana Republic wants to be an edgy lifestyle brand.
The retailer, a division of Gap Inc., made its debut at New York Fashion Week, presenting its first full-fledged men's and women's collection under the direction of Marissa Webb.
"It's a great moment for Banana Republic," said the brand's new creative director at her packed fashion presentation Saturday. "We are a fashion company, and we belong with Fashion Week."
The collection featured oversized pea coats, ripped jeans, cowl neck sweaters and coats with cocoon silhouettes. There were also fun touches like fringe details and accessories including tights with racer-back details and handbags with sayings like "beautiful" and "Quote Me."
Webb, who came on board last April, brought J. Crew to New York Fashion Week when she was a designer and earlier this week presented her eponymous label, sold at upscale stores like Barneys.
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