02/13/2013 01:09 EST | Updated 04/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Belstaff working on making a name at NY Fashion Week by moving beyond comfort coat zone

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Cool and wearable aren't always complementary, especially in the fickle fashion world. Somehow, though, Belstaff, which attracted the hipster crowd to its New York Fashion Week show, bridged that gap.

Designer Martin Cooper made it look easy.

The coats were the easy winners, especially the three-tone shearlings, offered in long and short lengths — and car length, too. Another mid-length coat had more going on with fur pockets and a checkered pattern. Considering the company's history as a British brand that specializes in leather outerwear, it's sort of what you'd expect.

But whether it was a racing-green, quilted down jacket with a waxed cotton skirt, or layers of merino wool sweaters with a short, pleated leather skirt, you could imagine the most stylish woman at the hot sidewalk cafe sipping her tea on the first chilly day of fall.

There likely were some in the Monday crowd who didn't want to wait that long for the fleece-lined luxe leather boots.

The brown python dress with pleats down the front and its co-ordinating jacket even looked effortless — not necessarily easy when you're trying to pull off head-to-toe snakeskin.

Belstaff, which is actually almost 90 years old, is fairly new to Fashion Week as the label tries to reintroduce itself with new owners behind it.

Tommy Hilfiger, who staged his own womenswear show Sunday night and a menswear show on Friday, was in the front row as a fan.

"I think it's one of the best heritage brands around," Hilfiger said, adding: "This is the last fashion show I'm going to for six months! My wife will keep me to that."


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