OSCAR DE LA RENTA: DETAIL, AND SOME SKIN
Oscar de la Renta's collection featured all the sumptuous, rich detail and workmanship he's known for: an ivory organza dress, embellished with hand-painted flowers and ostrich feathers, near-sheer skirts and gowns revealing the models' endless legs. More casual designs paired a large buffalo check print in pink, light blue or black with delicate looks, such as a white lacy skirt. Supermodel Karlie Kloss closed the show in a glamorous ivory silk gown, shorter in front, with green organza leaf embroidery — and then re-emerged with the beaming designer on her arm.
PRABAL GURUNG: A COLORFUL HIMALAYAN TREK
Some of the offerings at Prabal Gurung seemed to come straight from nature — for example, a strapless dress with a rhododendron print, ostrich feathers and hand-cut organza flowers on the skirt. On the sportier side, there were mountain jackets and expedition vests; on the daintier side, silky ruffled dresses. For colours, Gurung looked to mirror the changing Himalayan sky, from dawn to sunset. Also notable: his first complete footwear line under his own label — multicolored, strappy stilettos inspired by Georgia O'Keefe, Frida Kahlo and Cindy Sherman.
CAROLINA HERRERA: FOAMY AND FROTHY
Carolina Herrera faces the conundrum every season of pleasing a loyal clientele — and infusing collections with something new. This season, she turned to digital prints and foam geometric embellishments — reds in deep shades and bright neon, soft yellow and neutrals in a light mushroom tan, including a pixelated, large red flower with leaves of foam pieces sewn to a long full gown. In the designer's words, the collection was "in a way very seductive and feminine."
MARC JACOBS: A BIG FINISH
Marc Jacobs closed New York Fashion Week with models in military outfits and a computerized voice piped through Beats by Dr. Dre at every seat that spoke of a slower, quieter life. On the runway: Kendall Jenner, naturally. Jacobs threw in some blinged-out wooden slides (remember Dr. Scholl's Exercise Sandals?) and a few shiny short dresses with conveniently large pockets apropos of, well, who really knows since he's Marc Jacobs and he can do what he wants and didn't explain himself in his notes.
DONNA KARAN: URBAN CHIC, AND CRAZY HATS
Donna Karan's designs infused urban chic with a healthy dose of whimsy — much of it in bold colours and lively prints. The high point: downright bizarre — but fun — hats by milliner Stephen Jones. A key focus was the bra, which Karan sees as "the new bodysuit." One ensemble featured a black silk and nylon stretch organza bra paired with an ivory-and-black pleated poplin skirt. Walking the runway: again, young model-of-the-moment Kendall Jenner, half-sister of Kim Kardashian. "I had no idea who she was," Karan confessed. "I mean, I knew who she was, but I didn't know who she WAS."
—Jocelyn Noveck and Nicole Evatt
CALVIN KLEIN: CHIC WITH A DOSE OF FUN
It was classic and sophisticated mixed with kicky fun for Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein: papyrus white sleeveless dresses; shiny red and marine blue minidresses belted well above the hips and swinging at the hem; long-sleeved leather coats in perforated leather and luxurious sweaters. And, not surprisingly, the show drew A-listers to the front row, including Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintour.
MICHAEL KORS: TIME TRIPPING WITH A SEXY EDGE
Michael Kors went back decades for a dreamy collection that could have been classified as "I Love Lucy" chic with embroidered flowers, retro plaids and classic A-line dresses. Flowers were sewn on in colour on solid prints, embroidered on linen, and fabrics incorporated them in incredibly intricate designs. Some looks were decidedly sexier than what Lucy would have worn: The sheer skirt trend continued here with organza skirts (though intricate flower designs prevented one from seeing too much). Among those in the packed house: Heidi Klum, Jessica Chastain, Mary J. Blige and Jada Pinkett Smith.
—Nekesa Mumbi Moody
RALPH LAUREN: A LUXURIOUS SAFARI
If you're the woman who likes to have a luxurious candlelit dinner while on safari — or maybe just wants to channel a safari while at a dinner party closer to home — Ralph Lauren hears you. His collection was heavy on khakis, safari jackets and cargo pants, and played with the notion of a safari as it moved from casual daywear into evening looks. Lauren described the collection as "about an exotic kind of luxury, the spirit of a romantic safari emboldened by luminous colours played against the heritage of pure khakis in sleek and modern shapes."
DVF: SUNSHINE AND SONG
You know that sullen model stare? Diane von Furstenberg was having none of it as she channeled the theme of the sunny French Riviera in the 1950s. Many of her models smiled as they sauntered down the runway in little gingham numbers or other cheery prints. Naomi Campbell closed the show in a short, multicolored chiffon "boudoir dress," delighting attendees like Whoopi Goldberg. And the designer herself? She gleefully acknowledged the crowd at the end, shaking hands, kissing friends and singing a few bars of the 1970s song "Paroles Paroles" (Words, words) along with the soundtrack.
ALEXANDER WANG: MEDITATION ON A SNEAKER
Looking for inspiration, Alexander Wang had to search no further than, well, his feet. "Sneakers!" Wang explained. Tight black, white or brightly colored minidresses had mesh cutouts and stripes around the waist that looked like the bottom part of a sneaker. Other, longer styles, in grey knit, for example, looked subtler, more classic. Echoing the variety of sneakers, many dresses were tight and short, but there were also looser, longer shift-type garments. "Sneakers for me have always been part of my uniform," Wang said. "It's something that's iconic in my generation."