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Friday, June 21, 2024

Ralph Lauren wows, Kanye grows up, Kors goes plus-size

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Fashion royalty Ralph Lauren decorated in wall-to-wall orchids, Kanye West bounced back from a breakdown to put a hijab on the runway and Michael Kors hired his first plus-sized model.

Here are the highlights from day seven of New York fashion week. With just critic's favorite and fashion darling Marc Jacobs left to unveil his collection Thursday, the fashion pack now heads to Europe.

– Gold lady –

More than any other designer, Lauren's clothes define the essence of modern, American chic — his powder blue outfit for First Lady Melania Trump at last month's inauguration was universally acclaimed. 

His brand image and rags-to-riches personal story embody the American dream and his runway shows are one of the hottest tickets in town.

He stunned guests by adorning his flagship Beaux Arts store on Madison Avenue in wall-to-wall white orchids and filling the air with birdsong.

The boucle-covered catwalk wound through interconnecting rooms lined with white chairs that gave everyone a front row seat.

He showcased daywear in the softest of bronzes, gold and pale butter made sultry by snake-skin wedge sandals and animal print bags.

There were jumpsuits, tailored linen jackets, harem pants and texture in the form of a chainmail dress and a basket-weave cardigan.

Gold lame shimmered, as if desert sand awash in sunlight, and splashes of black appeared in a leather jumpsuit and leather biker pants with zips.

There was statement African-style jewelry and for evening, he stuck to his trademark silk sheaths — one-shouldered gowns and trains billowing from the neckline in purple, green and barely there patterned chiffon.

But Wednesday's show comes as his empire shows signs of strain.

Last season, he followed Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford in ripping up the traditional calendar and offering all his clothes for immediate sale, but this month the company announced chief executive Stefan Larsson will step down after barely a year due to disagreements with the boss.

– Hijab –

Rap superstar Kanye West broke new boundaries by putting 19-year-old hijab-wearing Somali-American model Halima Aden on the runway.

The musician-turned-designer — who was slammed by fans for dropping in on Donald Trump in December — hired the model born in a Kenyan refugee camp to make her catwalk debut in front of his reality star wife Kim Kardashian and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

In his Season 5 Yeezy show, West, recently recovered from a reported mental breakdown, offered a more adult collection.

His family is still recuperating after Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris in October.

And after a fiasco last season, which saw one model collapse due to extreme heat, West bucked the trend and refused to broadcast it live.

– Plus size – 

Ashley Graham, 28, became the first plus-size model to walk on the New York runway for Michael Kors, who unveiled a collection full of opulent fur coats and monochrome looks.

The self-proclaimed body activist — and first plus-size model to appear on the cover of Vogue — took to the catwalk in a black dress slashed to the thigh and belted at the waist, topped with a cropped gray fur coat.

Actress Blake Lively and her husband, the Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, sat front row as models sashayed down the runway to the strains of Eurythmics hit "Sweet Dreams" — performed live by a string ensemble wearing fur coats, evening dresses and metallics.

Model of the moment Bella Hadid looked stunning in gunmetal grey, and Kendall Jenner closed the show in a black tasseled evening dress.

– Put a bow on it –

Eleven days before the Oscars, the Marchesa label founded by Georgina Chapman — wife of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein — offered the size zero starlet a dazzling choice inspired by Imperial China.

On-trend velvet made a strong showing but the defining look was bows that made models look like wrapped-up gifts: delicate velvet bows at the waist, choker bows and giant silk bows on the chest and the hip.

Marchesa pulled in a packed house for a show that didn't disappoint: exquisite detail, ruffled skirts and fringes — in black, red or silver — but most eye-catchingly in colors of the rainbow on skirts.

– Blue velvet –

Anna Sui unveiled a fall 2017 collection that stayed true to her boho roots and was a glorious riot of color, pattern and playful dresses.

She too showcased of-the-moment velvet: gorgeous blue velvet boots, velvet bell-bottomed track pants with an Adidas-style stripe down the side, velvet tops, crushed velvet capes and capped sleeves.


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