02/07/2013 09:45 EST | Updated 04/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Kenneth Cole returns to the runway with a cold-weather collection right for forecasts

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Bet those models are hoping to take home the shearling coats, quilted puffer jackets, elbow-length gloves and hearty boots they wore on the runway of the Kenneth Cole Productions show Thursday night, considering the weather forecast for the next few days.

The outfits previewed at New York Fashion Week are for next fall, but they couldn't have looked more timely with blizzard-like conditions headed here over the next 48 hours.

Cole has a way of having a pulse on pop culture. This show marked his return to the runway after a seven-year hiatus.

An opening video beamed on multiple walls in a vast Chelsea basement acknowledged that much has changed in the world — and how important social media is to the industry. It's more important that the stylists, editors, retailers and bloggers in the audience "like" something rather than love it, Cole said.

Chances of both are pretty good. The collection, dubbed "Urban Liberation," offered a lot of mixed textures, from perforated leather to cozy knits (and a few futuristic metallic touches thrown in, in a classic autumnal palette of bottle green, burgundy, black and grey.

The prints were mostly cityscapes, one printed on the back yoke of a tunic top that was a pleasant surprise when the model rounded the corner of the catwalk.

Layers were piled on thick: The opening look was a women's mixed-media tweed jacket with two types of vests, wool felt pants, a leather neckerchief and super-long gloves. That was followed by a wool-felt jumper, metallic-collar shirt, mirrored choker and soft pleated pants.

The first look from the men's collection was a hooded jacket, shawl-collar sweater, button-front shirt, skinny tie, tapered pants, driving gloves and work boots.

It's early in the eight days of designer previews at fashion week, but there seems to be a utilitarian vibe emerging — maybe a commentary that shoppers want clothes that offer function combined with fashion. Cole played right into that.


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