New York fashion kings close out the week

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Fashionistas braved a major snowstorm, picking their way on stilettos through the ice and slush to attend en masse the hotly anticipated catwalk shows of both fashion empires.

With New York fashion darling Marc Jacobs holding the last show, the global fashion bandwagon heads to London on Friday before winding its way to Milan and Paris.

His shows are always spectacle and this was no exception as models with translucent faces and bronze lips walked almost like zombies beneath low-hanging artificial clouds.

Dressed in monochrome, minimalist silhouettes of white, gray, bronze and earth, they marched through the maze-like set in clean, simple silhouette dresses over tight trousers.

A voice off stage repeated over and over again “happy days are here again,” “let’s sing a song together” and “the sky above will clear again.”

The dresses were low cut, with a slit up the side, a silhouette repeated with low-cut tunics and heavier wooven matching trousers.

Earlier in the day, Lauren got a standing ovation from the crowd, which included actress Kim Basinger, for his younger line Polo and his classic Collection.

Polo offered up urban collegiate style in bright colors with bohemian adventure, a strappy black dress and large orange parka or a leather mini skirt with shirt and tie.

The Collection oozed glamour in monochrome, gray, ivory, white and pale pink. There were large capes in creme cashmere, elegant trousers and a spangly pink evening dress.

“I love the contrast of Polo’s cool eclectic spirit with the luxury and modern glamour of Collection,” Lauren said. “Each represent my vision of the individuality and style.”

In a TriBeCa loft with views of the iconic Manhattan skyline, Calvin Klein unveiled a collection unique for the week in showing only clothes appropriate to chilly weather.

In black, white, green, peach and brown, women’s creative director Francisco Costa sent models out in long skirts, chunky high neck sweaters and wide-collared coats.

There were sleeveless and pleated woolen dresses with the seam stitched on the outside, use of patchwork and with stripped detail on hemlines.

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, stunning in a pale pink dress and an Oscar favorite for her role in “12 Years A Slave” sat next to Anna Wintour and US actress Naomi Watts.

Traffic was treacherous in New York, where eight to 14 inches (20 to 36 centimeters) of snow were expected to fall and flakes turned to freezing rain.

– ‘A season of color’ –

Key trends of the week have been fur coats, back and reworked, gypsy dresses, bomber jackets, leather, metallics, tartan, oversized jackets, belts and sweatpants.

“It’s a season of color, of contrast where lifestyles are mixed, furs are important,” Nicole Fischelis, fashion director at Macy’s department store, told AFP.

“Lengths are either very short or very long. We see shorts and maxi dresses.”

She singled out established US designers Jacobs, Michael Kors, Vera Wang and Tommy Hilfiger for special praise, and had her eye on the upcoming new generation.

Wang’s collection was a “good mix of clothes that are very wearable but at the same time very romantic, extremely well made, very modern with astonishing quality,” she said.

Kors was “very, very good” and Hilfiger “excellent” with “all the must-haves” of the season, Fischelis added.

She also praised Anna Sui, whose exotic collection was inspired by the Shanghai of the 1920s, as a colorful show that put everyone in a good mood.

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