A feminine twist to classic menswear at New York Fashion Week

A model walks the runway for the Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2011 show during Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York City on Sunday.

Samantha Critchell, AP Fashion Editor

NEW YORK – In every fairy tale, there is a princess and a hero. Unless she comes to his aid.

Luxurious textures, sheer fabrics and fitted shapes giving a feminine touch to traditional men’s suits are ubiquitous on the catwalks at New York Fashion Week. It’s strength combined with confidence, boyish style, on day 5 of the fall previews.

Prabal Gurung has its fair share of frilly princesses. But, as in the case of her muse for the season, Miss Havisham of Dickens, the Knights don’t always show up.

“Her story is about a lot of men,” Gurung said at the front row of her mentor Carolina Herrera’s show on Monday.

Other designers have mixed princess beauty with the strength of men’s fashion.

Tommy Hilfiger sent classic cuts and pinstripes to the catwalk. DKNY by Donna Karan transformed traditional men’s jackets into capes. Brian Wolk and Claude Morais took to menswear history to appeal to a Ruffian woman in search of “understated elegance” via a white silk blouse with a black bow tie and tail jacket.

Paula Gerbase, Creative Director of the Black Label Collection at Woolrich John Rich & Bros., trained at Savile Row in London. No wonder she was inspired by 1940s hunting clothes to deconstruct the feminine line.

Take off the piping and lining, she said, and “you actually end up with a very soft, draped piece of clothing.”

APTOPIX Fashion Marc Jacobs Fall 2011Models walk the runway at the end of the Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 show during New York Fashion Week on Monday.

MARC JACOBS

We’ve seen the future of fashion and it includes sequins that look like fur, rubber that looks like glitter, and cellophane that looks like, well, cellophane.

Put them in an alternation of retro feminine silhouettes and modern utilitarian shapes, and you’ve got the Jacobs fall mashup collection.

The Jacobs show continued its tradition of shuffling midweek trends. He is considered one of the most influential – if not the most – designers to show on this side of the Atlantic.

“I thought it was awesome,” said Virginia Smith, fashion market manager for Vogue. “It was a crazy mix of futuristic 40’s.”

The big show with a fully mirrored runway lined with padded columns was quick: pencil skirts, mock neck blouses, see-through tops, puffer jackets, and more textures than most people could digest.

Not all designers can wear a Dalmatian polka-dot terry dress.

Smith especially liked the lace cocktail dresses, some of which had frills and faux croc details.

LINE

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen don’t want The Row, their fashion label, to be about them. They want it to be on clothes, so much so that they stopped doing catwalk presentations at New York Fashion Week.

Fortunately, their collection can speak for itself.

With pointed men’s cuts and luxe fabrics with seemingly cohesive influences, the designers came up with a gray flannel pantsuit, made more feminine with its cropped length; a buttery yellow pajama-style top and matching pants in the softest wool; and a unique t-shirt with long sleeves and tuft of cashmere and fox fur woven together.

Quilted leather sleeves were added to a long black blazer, which featured a zippered quilted leather dress.

Thom Browne Fall 2011 FashionThom Browne’s fall 2011 fashions are modeled during New York Fashion Week on Monday.

THOM BROWNE

Thom Browne started women’s fashion this season with things he already knows: men’s suits, country-club designs, college stripes and, most importantly, the theater.

He took over a room in the New York Public Library and turned it into a makeshift church altar, with mannequins dressed as nuns shedding their habits to reveal pantsuits, tight skirts, and even an egg-shaped cape.

Browne is a leader in American menswear, pushing back the shrunken figure that has prevailed with the hipster ensemble. Seeing it on women, however, it really makes more sense.

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Tommy Hilfiger

He global brand launched his collection with men’s clothing over 25 years ago. He returns to those roots next season, reinterpreting them for women.

A gray double-breasted herringbone jacket and matching wide leg pants set the boyish vibe, highlighted by New York Knicks star Amare Stoudemire in the front row.

There were plaids, peacoats and jackets with leather patches on the elbows.

Handkerchiefs were coming out of the pockets.

MONIQUE LHUILLIER

She took the flowing, feminine figure she’s known for and translated it into sparkling black, gold and scarlet.

She used chantilly lace, cheetah and leopard prints as well as taffeta, tweed and chiffon for a collection of evening and special occasion wear. Sequins and ostrich feathers finished off some of her looks for the dark, sultry and alluring fall line.

A crepe tuxedo jacket had an ostrich feather hem, sheer lace back, and a deep V-neck in the front.

JENNY PACKHAM

The British designer paid homage to a quote by Marlene Dietrich about men – like moths – attracted to light.

“The men gather around me, like moths against a flame, and if their wings burn, I know I’m not to blame,” Packham said in his notes.

The airy peach-colored chiffon dress with a halter neckline that filled her deep V-neck with lace and sparkle should be a candidate for the Oscars red carpet.

Tory Burch Fall 2011Fall 2011 fashion from designer Tory Burch is presented during Fashion Week Sunday.

TORY BURCH

For the runway, she cleverly mixed office dresses with velvet trims and a buttery leather sweater in a neutral stone with an extra long sleeve chunky knit sweater.

The collection seemed to build on the updated 1970s vibe which is a true spring trend, so there can be a seamless transition of the seasons.

As for the accessories that really made Burch famous in the fashion world: the season, they are hand-made satchels and boots with high heels and contrasting colors on the feet.

DONNA KARAN

Her “Pearls of Wisdom” collection includes several skirt suits with the strong shoulders of a tailored jacket for men, but the silhouette is quickly refined to show the shape of a woman.

The clothes helped create a lean appearance, thanks to longer lengths and limited adornment.

Sheepskin stoles have been draped around the next one to add a bit of glamor. A blend of sheer chiffon, sleek jersey and soft mohair made outfits an alluring tactile experience.

Karan didn’t use a single dot of black – a start – but the silvery, pearl, cream and powdery undertones are almost as easy to wear.

CAROLINA HERRERA

The old-fashioned illustration of a woman projected onto a high-tech screen behind Herrera’s podium delivered its message: modernity and sophistication are not mutually exclusive.

The image appeared to be of look # 2, a dark gray wool flannel wing skirt, a black cashmere turtleneck, a thin gray velvet belt and black suede gloves that went high and wide down the arm .

Wear it in the fall, the following year – and the following year – without ever worrying about a trend.

Double-sided wool dresses with fur trim, portrait-style collars, as well as capelet coats and silks with abstract turquoise and black feather print are also meant to be timeless classics.

CARMEN MARC VALVO

Ballerinas – delicate, feminine and graceful – were inspirations.

The runway was full of evening wear, including a strapless black lace gown with strategically placed layers of chiffon topped with beading, and a one-shoulder copper metallic dress with a draped bodice, which Valvo said he did. thought to be worthy of a red carpet.

The same could be said for the black and pewter embroidered V-neck that evoked the night sky, or the beaded black coat worn over an embroidered tulle dress that caught the lights of the Times Square venue as the model walked by the Windows .

CBS presenter Katie Couric, a friend of Valvo’s, sat in the front row taking pictures.

BETSEY JOHNSON

The over-the-top designer has launched a funky ‘He loves me / He doesn’t love me’ collection.

The first pieces on the catwalk under the motto “He Loves Me Not” were worn by models with dark hair and cut squarely. The clothing is part of Johnson’s “Black Tag” line and featured a leopard print, fabric checks and flowers worn around the neck.

The “He Loves Me” pieces are part of Johnson’s “Pink Patch” clothing line under $ 100. These models wore blonde wigs and brighter, clearer prints and sequined doll dresses.

Johnson danced on the catwalk in a dark coat and wig. She threw them both off to reveal her blonde hair and a bright yellow T-shirt before doing her signature wheel.

Maria + Zero Cornejo Fashion Fall 2011A dress from the Maria + Zero Cornejo Fall 2011 collection modeled during New York Fashion Week.

ZERO + MARIA CORNEJO

Fashion shows don’t always sound like curling up on a sofa in front of a fire. But some of Zero + Maria Cornejo’s deliciously sweet creations might inspire such a desire.

The feathered alpaca was an important look for Cornejo, who dressed Michelle Obama.

When the material itself wasn’t fluffy, there were prints to echo the effect – whimsical prints of fur and hair on the dresses.

Another fun print that has found its place in a dress: a wall of books, inspired by a real wall “at a smart friend’s house”.

In this collection, it seemed that a coat was never just a coat. Cut at the front, it could suddenly swell at the rear.

LIBERTINE

Bright yellows, bright pinks and shimmering golds dominated this runway, with a touch of plaid in jackets, sweatpants and hats for fall.

Johnson Hartig’s women flaunted knee-length skirts and pants and floor-length maxi dresses in the vibrant 70s rainbow. The men remained conservative in black, white and gray.

The women’s jackets were a highlight. Hartig kept his checkered pattern in the center of each room, but sometimes only in sections.

Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte graced the front row, along with designer Thom Browne in his signature cropped pants.

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Associated Press editors Caryn Rousseau and Summer Moore contributed to this report.


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