Sep 10, 2014
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Special effects, elaborate sets light up NY Fashion Week

Sep 10, 2014

NEW YORK, United States - New York Fashion Week on Tuesday transformed the woman of spring/summer 2015 into another world, with shades of Marie-Antoinette at Vera Wang, ocean mermaids at Rodarte and Picasso's muse at Tory Burch.

Vera Wang Spring/Summer 2015 at NY Fashion Week Source: PixelFormula

On the sixth day of the inaugural week of the new fashion season, the Mulleavy sisters at Rodarte, whose risque and hip creations have been popular for nearly a decade on the Hollywood red carpet, plumbed the ocean for inspiration.

With blond or jet-black hair hanging in the eyes and in short spangled dresses with matching tulle foam or a cascade of embroidered rhinestones, the Rodarte woman takes on an almost slimy -- but still very feminie -- appearance.

"Tide pools and underwater worlds," Laura Mulleavy told AFP. "So we were thinking about sea life, like sea anemones, sea urchins, like little rocky areas, ocean mermaids."

Wang, 65, one of America's most popular fashion designers, loves black and her collection for spring/summer 2015 is no exception.

She decked out a Chelsea gallery in a striking take on the famous Tuileries Garden in Paris, the models coming out from behind a wall of black box trees and striding down a gravel-strewn runway difficult to navigate in high heels.

"It's a bit my version of the Tuileries... done in a very New York way, notably in the lack of color," she explained to AFP.

It may not have been Versailles, but Wang said her collection had "the spirit, extravagance and feminity, but also the weakness and pride of Marie-Antoinette."

There were ruffles, ruching, wide pleats belted at the waist, mini dresses, crepe trousers, bandeau tops and asymmetric jackets.

Trapeze dresses were heavily embellished with stones and Swarovski crystals, before Wang's collection gave way to a lighter, freer silhouette of flowered silk to the ground and tulle skirts.

The contrast between controled black tailing and something much more fluid paid tribute to "different personalities of women," she said, summing it up as "boyish boudoir, baby bohemian."

"It's a voyage. Even inside the woman, there is not only one personality," Wang said.

Disco cool

Tory Burch used the impressive backdrop of the Lincoln Center skyline to showcase a simple, elegant and fresh collection before floor-to-ceiling windows at the Avery Fisher Hall.

The billionaire head of the eponymous affordable luxury brand told AFP that she was inspired by the spirit of French painter Francoise Gilot, a mistress of Pablo Picasso.

Victoria's Secret model Lily Aldridge was guest of honor to watch the runway show of skirts, knits and dresses done up in cream, navy, white, mustard and pink.

Texture came in the form of raffia tweeds, graphic smocking and knits paired with digital print counterparts, worn with oversized earrings, woven leather flats and color-blocked bags.

"I love the idea of her being such a strong woman," Burch told AFP when asked why Gilot had been such an inspiration. "She was also an incredible artist in her own right."

US Open tennis champion Serena Williams, fresh from victory on Sunday, wore a fitted leopard jacket to unveil a chic and sporting collection, a mixture of bright colors and wearable cuts.

For Marc by Marc Jacobs, British designers Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley stuck to their edgy urban cool, laying out a series of interlinking catwalks in a triangle effect.

There were six free-standing triangles ranked small to large and lit by multi-colored lights at the middle. Models with their hair twisted into four plaited top knots running down the center of their heads marched down the runway.

There were shiny skin-tight pvc-style leggings called "ninja trousers," t-shirts cropped to look like bikini tops, boots were plastic-looking rain-boot style in white, pale blue and yellow.

Perhaps the most striking look was an asymmetrical pink and white gingham dress in plastic with yellow netting on one side and thin, delicate pleats on the other.

One model wore a t-shirt with NEW WORLD SYSTEM printed on front. Accessories were very futuristic bags like circles with a hole cut out to form a handle and also chunky octagonal ones, again in one very pale color.

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