updated 17 Feb 2013, 13:21
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Fri, Feb 15, 2013
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Romantic Lauren, military Klein to end NY fashion week

NEW YORK - Ralph Lauren's romantic Russian furs and silk dresses for next winter and Calvin Klein's military accents brought New York Fashion Week to a close Thursday in contrasting style and luxury.

Lauren unbottled a dose of Russian soul in his fur hats, black peaked caps and long velvet dresses.

Silk shirts and high-waisted trousers, high boots and big-buckled belts: this was a romantic journey in elegant dark shades and white by the veteran US trendsetter, who was rewarded with a standing ovation.

Held under enormous lights in a Chelsea loft, Lauren's show featured cashmere turtlenecks, embroidered collars, and blends of silk and leather.

Sumptuous evening wear saw deep red velvet dresses that wouldn't look out of place on the sofas of a snowbound Russian palace.

By contrast, Klein's show near Times Square exuded confidence and a touch of military precision, with big, manly coats, large-buckled belts, leather dresses and shining boots.

The last show in the Big Apple was due to come from the reliably unpredictable Marc Jacobs, wrapping up some 300 shows before the fashion cavalcade moves to London, Milan and Paris.

Jacobs' show was even more keenly awaited than usual after a supply snafu and a snowstorm forced him last week to announce the postponement of his scheduled Monday show to Thursday.

Even before the big three brought down the final curtain, there were already a myriad of season's trends emerging in the eight days of catwalk shows.

Fashionistas saw the sophistication of Alexander Wang, shortly off to head Balenciaga, the subtle architecture of Vera Wang, and the military-inspired aesthetics of Prabal Gurung - not to mention the Rodarte sisters' grunge chic.

More generally, these were collections for autumn-winter 2013-14 brimming with furs, leathers, masculine jackets, big, round-shouldered coats, and high-heeled thigh-high boots.

One highlight was the Oscar de la Renta show, where fashion watchers noted a distinct hint of John Galliano, the disgraced former Dior designer who has been spending time with de la Renta.

Stylesight fashion director Sharon Graubard said "minimalism" and "clean shapes were key," with collections tending to be based around design, rather than broader references.

Even if Michael Kors upset the balance a little with his bright oranges and New York taxi yellows, black was back in a big way.

"For colour, and not surprising for New York, there was black on black on black," Graubard told AFP.

"Even designers not usually associated with black - like Reed Krakoff, the Mulleavy sisters at Rodarte, and Vera Wang - showed nearly all-black collections."

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