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Skin is not in – rather, keeping something to the imagination will be in style next fall.
New York Fashion Week wraps Thursday, as designers presented their fall 2012 collections. While it’s certainly the time for tights and outerwear, cleavage was a rare commodity on the runways.
Whether designers were going for the look of the tasteful sophisticate or the rocking hipster, most had one common thread – the use of plenty of fabric.
A few trends emerged – the structured, polished look of the lady continued to dominate collections, notably from designers Tory Burch, Vera Wang and J. Crew.
“This is about understated sexy,” designer Tory Burch said before her runway show Tuesday.
That said, these looks still have that modern edge with bright splashes of color – namely fuschia, cobalt blue, orange-red, mustard and teal. Plaids were far from boring in the J. Crew presentation – ankle-cropped pants in myriad prints were colorful and modern. Sure, it was a little ’60s secretary – but she pops on a bright orange jacket before strolling out for the evening, in a pair of pointed sapphire blue pumps.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicked off last Thursday with the globe’s biggest designers showing off their couture creations at the Lincoln Center in New York City.
Labels ranging from Bebe to Balenciaga, Levi’s to Lanvin and Payless to Prada were present.
Fashion Week has been brimming with A-Listers who flocked to the city to support their designer pals, walk the runways or flash a smile for a photograph. Renee Zellweger filled her usual front row spot at Carolina Herrera, Ashley Greene took the spotlight at Calvin Klein and Olivia Wilde looked ravishing at Ralph Lauren.
Strutting down glossy white runways and surrounded by pristine, clean walls, models donned bold cuts and patterns with a punch of color. Sorbet hues and tangerine are punchy powerhouse colors for the season, while patterns such as chevron commanded attention.
Other trends for the season include pleats, especially accordion and delicate plisse; rounded shoulders inspired by classic ‘50s and ‘60s jacket silhouettes; one shoulder styles in delicate evening-wear and exposed shoulders pulling rank on every item, from dresses to jackets to tops. Runway staples such as military, ‘60s rock, Victorian era and Roaring ‘20s were also plentiful.
Fashion Week favorite Marc Jacobs stunned the crowd with his Victoriana meets late-night rave designs. The backdrop to his presentation was breathtaking, as smoky blue lights and icy white props transported his crowd to the white enchanted forest.
Despite his outlandish designs geared toward the high business class and movie stars, Jacobs’s line put off a charming, childhood innocence vibe, and he wasn’t the only designer to do so.
The majority of designers this season showed interest in a younger audience by presenting fun and floral bra tops, leg baring hot pants, doily lace accents and cropped tops, perfect for fresh spring days and long summer nights.
The Row, a high-end fashion label designed by mega moguls and former child stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, debuted its spring line that spoke directly to Gen Y fashionistas, presenting alternatives to boring suits or evening-wear. The twins turned the tables on traditional and transformed business-wear into chenille jackets and full-length sheer chiffon skirts.
Not only are high-end designers targeting younger audiences this week, but shopping mall staples such as Kohl’s and Abercrombie and Fitch are beginning to pop up on the once-exclusive runways.
“We’re not trying to be a high fashion brand, but the lines have blurred between street-wear and fashion, and that’s an exciting proposition,” said Len Peltier, vice president for creative design at Levi’s.
Sandra Halliday, a fashion analyst, agreed with excitement concerning the blended styles.
“It’s undeniably beneficial to be associated with other high-end aspirational brands at New York Fashion Week,” she said.
Although most young adults cannot afford such high-end brands, more are beginning to expand their wardrobes to include high fashion due to the ease of online shopping. Plus, with common mall staples being included in the prestigious shows, more young eyes will be drawn with interest to Fashion Week, generating revenue not only for high and low-end brands, but also for the city of New York.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg estimated that the semiannual shows held in 2012 will generate over $865 million for the city alone.
“We are the fashion capital of the world,” said Bloomberg. “The buzz it creates helps underscore our city’s reputation as a cutting-edge capital of fashion, home to more than double the number of fashion companies in Paris.”
Fashion week will continue in London, followed by Milan, with the grand finale set against the backdrop of the City of Light? Paris.



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