Calvin Klein features color and Narciso Rodriguez loosens up at New York Fashion Week

Thursday, September 9th 2004, 10:42 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Head designer Francisco Costa's glossy ``stingray'' jackets and bright jersey gowns caught the audience's collection eye at Calvin Klein's preview for spring 2005.

Klein, who is now more of a figurehead for the brand, led the applause Tuesday as he stood at the end of the runway, which was lined by Hilary Swank, Elizabeth Hurley and Mandy Moore, as New York Fashion Week neared its conclusion. Final shows of the eight-day event were scheduled Wednesday.

The stingray jackets _ one a three-button tailored blazer, the other a more casual tab-collar bomber _ looked glossy and even wet. Two other standout coats were done in a sheer python print.

Many of the garments had a layered look that created a jumper effect, and knit leather tops took the homespun crocheted trend to a new level.

As for the sheer pieces _ mostly open-neck loose tops or dresses in chemise or A-line shapes _ they'll likely have lining added before they make it into stores. The sheer pieces are for the benefit of magazines like Cosmopolitan, said Editor in Chief Kate White.

White said she'd like to add one of the turquoise-colored tank dresses to her wardrobe. ``It's not low-cut, but it's sexy,'' she said.

Narciso Rodriguez, who traditionally is as much a fashion architect as he is a designer, featured a flowing pink silk crepe dress with a V-neck and a gathered empire waist as his first look, sending the signal that he's breaking free from his usual formfitting ways.

A loose lingerie top in orange-and-white color blocks with a black-and-white A-line skirt and a white silk dress with a black beaded bra top and slit pockets also showed Rodriguez breaking out of his mold.

That said, molding garments to a woman's body is what Rodriguez does best, and the black silk dress with a fitted bodice and boning through the middle with a full floor-length bottom and a white silk corset dress with a black beaded trim were among the best pieces.

Cutouts that flashed a little skin on the backs and sides of dresses and tops added sexiness without being too revealing for what is shaping up as a fashion season that embraces modesty.

Brazilian actress Sonia Braga (``Moon Over Parador'') was backstage before Rodriguez's show.

Meanwhile, the ``Greek chic'' collection Michael Kors previewed was designed for a modern goddess, one who covers up her tiger-print bikini with a georgette short caftan with turquoise trim.

For daywear, she could choose from an ocean-blue silk georgette batik peasant blouse with linen pants embroidered at the ankle, or an off-the-shoulder peasant dress with tiers of ruffles from the waist down. For evening, Kors designed a white hand-embroidered dance dress with embedded crystals and a white chiffon jersey gown with colored crystals covering the bikini-style top and waistband.

Kors described his look as ``sportswear with a romantic sense of glamour ... delicate embroideries and lavish embellishments with a relaxed attitude.''

Elizabeth Taylor was his muse for spring. There even was a ``Liz'' dress, a white jersey short dress with a string of crystals and turquoise around the empire waist.