New York Fashion Week brings together consistency of experience and edginess of youth

Monday, February 6th 2006, 8:49 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ There's the old guard of fashion who consistently design sophisticated, chic and luxurious clothes, and then there are the up-and-comers who push the envelope _ and move style forward.

They've come together at New York Fashion Week, which has seen fall previews by designers including Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler and Derek Lam.

Friday's schedule included collections by Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Karl Lagerfeld.

Proenza Schouler: The young design duo of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez pieced together a sleek patchwork collection that included leather pencil skirts with zippers as decoration and superskinny tuxedo pants worn with sheer chiffon tops.

A tight copper lace dress also covered in zippers was sexy and suggestive without showing one bit of skin _ the model at Thursday's show wore a turtleneck under it. A black dress with white scribble embroidery and a thick patent leather belt was chic and modern.

Two noteworthy coats were a color-blocked pony skin coat that featured purple leather patches and a shift-style patent leather coat.

Anna Sui: With her trademark vibrant style, Sui unveiled a fall collection jam-packed with loudly competing colors, textures and patterns _ and somehow it worked. Mostly.

Sui hit a few false notes Wednesday night with uncharacteristically frumpy long shorts, but the overall feel of her fall collection was young, flirty, funky and opulent.

The designer riffed on the swinging London of the 1960s by giving minidresses with Peter Pan collars a multicultural makeover with Russian-inspired details and by pairing psychedelic tights with a demure lace tank dress.

Despite the considerable number of elements at work here, Sui still managed to create a collection that felt like more than the sum of its parts.

Derek Lam: The skinny from the Lam show is that leggings are cool again.

Fashion fans were buzzing about the cashmere leggings worn with an oversized cashmere cowl-neck sweater and a cropped A-line trench coat even before the models walked down this up-and-coming designer's catwalk Wednesday.

Other pants had military-style hardware and featured a much wider leg. Those were worn with ruffled blouses to create a nice contrast.

Capes _ which were all over the place a few seasons ago _ were almost forgotten for fall, but not by Lam, who showed two wonderful black evening capes that would be the perfect thing to wear over a party dress.