Herrera, Hilfiger, Lim steal New York shows

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At 75, Herrera showed no sign of slowing down or wallowing in nostalgia, unveiling her 2014 fall/winter collection on Monday for the contemporary woman looking to the future.

The doyenne of New York Fashion Week, the Venezuelan-born designer known for her elegance has dressed first ladies, society women and film stars all over the world.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese sat front row at the Lincoln Center show, which was crammed to bursting with fashionistas.

Top model Karlie Kloss opened the runway in a black, boiled wool coat and pony skirt with a cashmere turtleneck — and closed it in a red, embroidered evening gown.

Congratulated by fellow designers and mobbed by acolytes backstage, Herrera told AFP that her collection had been designed “for the woman of today but looking to the future.”

“I’m a bit tired of all those collections that have a reference to the 40s, the 20s, the 30s,” she said.

“I need something else. I need the future. That’s why the proportion was very important for me — the low heels and something different from the things we have seen before.”

Her models wore their hair swept high on the head in buns with tall, Turkish, fez-inspired woolen hats perched on top.

Her jackets were cape-like, with wide collars and cowl necks, while skirts were tight and fitted, creating a very different silhouette to much of those seen on the catwalk.

Jackets were embellished with fur in the lower sleeves and from the chest down, or with leather panels. Printed dresses and skirts were geometric, almost African-inspired.

Flowing gowns to the ground in georgette and organza were cinched at the waist with big, bold-colored belts.

Herrera said her inspiration was young women but — in the celebrity-obsessed age — the ones with style.

“I am very inspired by the young girls, the ones that have some style,” she said with a throaty laugh.

Hilfiger, 62, one of the most instantly recognizable brands in US fashion, transported his audience to a winter wonderland with a ski lift, chalet, boulders and artificial snow.

His collection was inspired by the conquest of the West and the great American outdoors.

There were ruffled prairie skirts, fringed plaid, cowboy boots, faux fur jackets, Alpine sweaters, beautiful ponchos, huge parkas lined with sheepskin and bobble hats.

There was a Scottish influence: a small kilt worn with a green fur jacket, tartan on jacket lapels and pockets, then fringed dresses and turtleneck mohair sweaters.

Phillip Lim, 40, cut a totally different dash designing, he told AFP, for the “culturally curious, worldly woman who lives in a world and context of instant pop and culture.”

“This season, in particular, was like kind of returning and looking at everything I’ve done. It’s gonna be our 10th year actually,” he said after the show.

Ultra urban and two-toned, he showed oversized trousers, quilted jackets and patchwork leather coats and trousers, the bulk cinched in at the waist with chunky belts.

Outfits were two-toned and patchworks of dual fabrics, cut on the vertical or the diagonal.

Stand outs were a black leather jacket with brown fur collar, an oversized pink fur gilet, pocketed fur coats that mimicked blazers and a smattering of summery colors.

Lim told AFP that he had sought to take in all the genres he is interested in, mixing and layering fabrics.

“It felt like a solar system and she is the sun, soleil.”

He described his signature look for the fall/winter 2014 as “a curiously cool, easy and chic woman” and said his inspiration was close to home.

“My Mum, my business partner, all the women around me in the studio. I never take favorites when it comes to that. I think anyone can be inspiring at any one time,” he said.

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