Sophie Theallet celebrates femininity, Vera Wang sees black

NEW YORK, Paola Messana - French designer Sophie Theallet brought femininity to her adopted hometown at New York Fashion Week, while Vera Wang brought out black in all its elegance.
Theallet, whose star rose last year when she won the Council of Fashion Designers of America award and her dresses were worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, was one of the keenly awaited designers showing their Autumn-Winter 2010 collections in the closing stages of Fashion Week.

A model presents an outfit at the Vera Wang show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York (AFP/Stan Honda)
A model presents an outfit at the Vera Wang show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York (AFP/Stan Honda)
The event ends Thursday with shows by two US fashion pillars, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.
Wang, meanwhile, showed Wednesday with a wearable, but ultra-elegant and figure-hugging look in line with the more restrained offerings from other designers, including runway star Marc Jacobs.
Famous for her white wedding dresses -- she has even written a book on the subject -- Wang instead sent models out in black, just as Donna Karan did on Tuesday.
Wang's dresses were short, long and mid-length, but all black, often punctuated with transparent details and arm-length black gloves.
The sleeves were short, though, on fur and feather-collared overcoats, allowing models to show their gloved arms. Hair was piled up in a sexy Brigitte Bardot-style chignon look.
Flashes of white -- from barely-there shirts or rows of pearl bracelets -- provided contrast with the dark hues.
The eclectic Theallet, who won the prestigious Vogue-CFDA award in November, reached for a rainbow of colors to highlight her soft and feminine collection.
She used mauve chiffon for gypsy dresses accompanied by short cashmere jackets in a darker shade of the same color. Wool jackets were in deep pink.
But Theallet did not hesitate to throw daring reds into a velvet stripe across a beige skirt, or pink satin to line the hood on an almond green dress.
Ocean blues, icy brown, sky blue and metallic grey -- the range of colors was delicate. Eastern folklore-inspired motifs decorated the base of skirts.
Cuban-American Narciso Rodriguez, another designer favored by President Barack Obama's wife, kept to geometric lines for a highly structured, futuristic look with dramatic asymmetrical accents.
Colors were also elemental in grey, ivory and black, with occasional outbursts of fiery orange and red.
Michael Kors began Wednesday's session with a sophisticated contribution centered on brown leather coats and puffa jackets with fox-fur collars, and camel hair overcoats over lurex dresses or deep blue trousers.
Men wore braided pullovers with trousers stuffed into boots -- an outfit that seemed to win the approval of actor Michael Douglas, who sat in the audience.
Outside the shows, promoters pitched the Fashionable Istanbul program which will take place in the Turkish city next June with Vivienne Westwood, Missoni, and Roberto Cavalli among the participating designers.

Wednesday, February 17th 2010
Paola Messana

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