The fall collections previewed Sunday at New York Fashion Week featured a dark, rich — almost wintery — color palette, including burgundy, gray, bottle green, black and cognac instead of the brighter yellows, golds and oranges that usually usher in the season.
Designer shows continue through Friday with Chanel and Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld making his runway debut in New York with his new Karl Lagerfeld/Lagerfeld Collection as the finale.
Donna Karan's DKNY line is aimed at her younger customers and has more of New York's street style than her signature collection. But with this fall's offerings, anyone could wear the outfits.
The best dresses had blouson tops and loose skirts with gathered high waists to show off the best parts of a woman's shape. A wine-colored mohair sweater coat was the kind of comfortable cocoon that can be worn on a Sunday stroll — and into a nice restaurant if you get hungry along the way.
There were some schoolgirl-inspired looks, too, but they had a sophisticated edge that kept them from being cartoonish. Satin mini bubble skirts, paired with georgette T-shirts and cropped cardigan sweaters, looked cute on the runway, but the tissue silk skirts that hit just below the knee would be much easier to wear.
Men wore slim pants with chunky cardigans or classic peacoats — or both.
Karan said she was aiming for a system of dressing that was "unscripted. ... For a look as confident and sophisticated as the city that inspired it."
Tracy Reese's signature style is "pretty" and for fall she did it again. However, she didn't go overly girlie, except for a few too many bows on dresses that didn't need them.
The collection was cohesive — but not cluttered — as Reese debuted her accessories collection.
Her wide patent leather belts with gold hardware were worn high on the waist over a black V-shaped vest and cream-colored shirt with oversized sleeves, and again with a black tribal beaded blouse and flowing skirt. Leather booties with thick heels that tied at the top looked clunky with some of the dresses, though.
A long gray cape with a beautiful turquoise-accented lining underneath revitalized a shape that can be tired and dowdy. It was worn with wide-leg pleated trousers and a simple turtleneck.
The sea green leather used for a fur-trimmed toggle coat and matching skirt looked soft and moved easily.
For dressing up, a blue floral sequined shift glimmered like an ocean and a berry-colored long tiered dress had a tank neckline alternately decorated by ethnic brown beads and glamorous purple crystals.
There was nothing groundbreaking about the newest Lacoste collection, presented Saturday night, since it mostly adapted the brand's well-known preppy golf and tennis styles for back-to-school or winter sports wardrobes.
However, the rainbow of V-neck sweaters, leather hoodies and ultrasuede blousons that danced down the runway in front of a boom-box backdrop certainly was cheery and wearable — except for some sweat pant-style knickers.
Designer Christophe Lemaire was inspired by the first album from De La Soul called "3 Feet High and Rising" and he clearly was trying to bring a little hip-hop attitude to downright nerdy details, such as wire-rim glasses and too-short pants.
The show also included puffy parkas and rubber boots in bright candy colors.