STYLE

New York Fashion Week: Victoria Beckham goes bouncy, Blige gets fashionable for a cause

02/15/2015 01:13 EST | Updated 04/17/2015 05:59 EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Associated Press is all over New York Fashion Week, from its runway fashions to celebrity-packed events. Here's what some AP writers are seeing:

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A CUPPA ON A FREEZING DAY, AT VICTORIA BECKHAM

Every Brit knows there's nothing like a cuppa on a bitter cold day. And so, guests at Victoria Beckham's runway show Sunday morning were treated to hot tea — in glass cups — as they arrived at Cipriani Wall Street on the coldest New York City day in years.

As for the fashions, they were warm, too, but the fall-winter fabrics were given a sexy twist, falling closer to the body than usual. Beckham also used slits and cutouts to bare a little more skin that one normally sees in winter fashions. Draping was fanciful, including a very pretty sarong-like effect from the waist down on some dresses.

Beckham, in a post-show interview, said if there were one word to describe the collection, it would be "Bounce."

"By bounce, I mean fabrics that are young and fresh," Beckham said backstage, where she greeted her handsomely dressed sons, her young daughter, and hubby David Beckham, in a sleek long topcoat.

"I love the texture," Beckham continued. "They're light as well. It's very important that, yes, these things look good on the catwalk, but I'm selling clothes all around the world. I have to take into account the weight of fabrics. So that bouncy fabric is really nice and wearable. "

Beckham professed to having a little more fun this time around. "I wanted to play," she said. "So I have lots of very sexy, tightly fitted dresses. You know I did have a little bit of fun and I think you can see that." She's hearing, she said, that her clothes are starting to draw a younger customer, as well as her usual fan base.

"I think I've come a long way," she said. "I'm really proud of myself and my team."

—Jocelyn Noveck

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PUBLIC SCHOOL ELEVATES WOMENSWEAR

Public School put the cool in shades of grey, the name of the design duo's production company and a signature palette that now extends seamlessly to their third season doing womenswear.

Impeccable grey and black bomber jackets, puffer coats and anoraks came in wool and nylon for both sexes, covering long tunics with side slits and maxi-length pleated skirts Saturday.

Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne have been celebrating the streets of their New York City since Public School was founded in 2008 and that hasn't changed, but their latest collection for fall felt somehow grown up — without a loss of street cred.

Switching headspace for the ladies has not been a problem, the two said after the show. Jenna Lyons, creative director of J.Crew and a longtime fashion insider, agreed.

"Oftentimes when people do menswear and womenswear, sometimes there's a big disconnect between the two, but I feel like the spirit they initiated in menswear feels very clearly adjusted toward women's," she said. "Oftentimes that can go in a totally different direction."

The emerging Public School look for women, Lyons said, isn't about throwing on a dress and heading out the door.

"There's always, like, a secret pocket. There's multiple layers. A vest has a sleeve that comes off. They've translated that ethos into the womenswear. It isn't just about one thing. It's about how you layer and multiple tiers of proportion. I love that," she said.

Chow said the two will never break from the Public School "code," in colour and cut, but wanted to go deep into the '90s this time and explore the dance cypher world, a convergence of streets styles done in groups.

"It was about freedom to really explore our past," he said. "and to add on."

The two cropped some pants for men and worked in navy mohair for a knit bomber jacket and another in blue shearling. Women were treated to long fleece hoodies and pony skin knee-high boots.

"Each season gets tweaked a bit," Osborne said, "but it always starts in the same place."

—Leanne Italie

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CELEBRITIES TURN OUT FOR EBOLA SURVIVORS

Rosario Dawson would do anything for a good cause.

On Saturday, the actress was ready to walk the catwalk for Naomi Campbell's charity Fashion for Relief's latest cause — Ebola.

"These shoes are huge on me as I walk — they're like flip-flops. I'm sure, if I just don't face plant, I'll feel really really pleased," she said before the show.

When reminded of Campbell's famous fall during a 1993 Vivienne Westwood show, Dawson pointed out that since people will always remember that, she might as well take a dive to put Ebola on the map.

"If I'm going to do it, I'm glad I'm doing it and Ebola will be talked about and Fashion for Relief will be talked about because yes, I'll do anything for a good cause," she said

The fashion show, which took place during New York Fashion Week, featured Dawson and other celebrities who included Mary J. Blige, Michelle Rodriguez, Paris Hilton, Kelly Osbourne, Kelly Rutherford, Nene Leaks, Quincy Brown and Toni Garrn. Campbell also hit the catwalk twice.

Their outfits, which will be auctioned off, were donated by various designers including Diane von Furstenberg, Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, Calvin Klein and Thom Browne.

The proceeds will go toward raising awareness about Ebola.

—Cristina Jaleru

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BANANA REPUBLIC GOES HIGH FASHION

Forget the traditional office wear. Banana Republic wants to be an edgy lifestyle brand.

The retailer, a division of Gap Inc., made its debut at New York Fashion Week, presenting its first full-fledged men's and women's collection.

"It's a great moment for Banana Republic," said creative director Marissa Webb at her packed fashion presentation in SoHo on Saturday. "We are a fashion company, and we belong with Fashion Week."

The collection featured oversized pea coats, ripped jeans, cowl neck sweaters and coats with cocoon silhouettes. There were also fun touches like fringe details and accessories including tights with racer-back details and handbags with sayings like "beautiful" and "Quote Me."

—Anne D'Innocenzio

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JOSEPH ALTUZARRA'S DANDIES AND SWANS

In fox fur and houndstooth, the luxury ready-to-wear golden boy evoked the dandies of the 18th century and the inner-circle "swans" of Truman Capote.

Would Gloria Vanderbilt, Babe Paley, Slim Keith, Lee Radziwill or Gloria Guinness feel right in his long, camel wool flannel coat with the flounce hem and outsized sapphire fur collar? How about the caramel houndstooth blazer with a single button?

Well, yeah. But they'd probably lose the white leather knee-high lace-up boots and see-through Chantilly lace blouses that accompanied some standout skirts and fur jackets.

The Paris-born Altuzarra launched his brand in New York in 2008. He brings his multicultural roots — Mom is Chinese-American and Dad is French Basque — to most collections, but this one tasted just a bit more like good 'ole apple pie.

There was a show of Tibetan sequin embroidery in '70s swingy chiffon dresses done in navy, burgundy and pale blue, along with a touch of delicate velvet. But it was his lush fur collars on coats, flippy hems on coats and skirts and feminine touches in lace, like a keyhole opening on blouses, that made the fall collection stand out from previous turns.

This time around he also offered his first handbag collection, "Notch." The hobo and saddlebag shapes sported braided tasseled straps and gold hardware.

—Leanne Italie

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