NEW YORK Fur stole the show at Carolina Herrera's fashion show on Monday - fur in eye-catching hues and unusual places.
Herrera dyed fur a rich green and deep violet in her fall and winter 2013 collection, one of hundreds on display at New York Fashion Week, which runs through Thursday.
Furthering the unexpected, the New York-based fashion pacesetter included fur as a bib at the front of a black turtleneck, at the cinched waist of a satin jacket and along the neckline of a strapless cocktail dress.
Not to fear, the chic Venezuela-born designer used fur in traditional colours and places as well - in coat collars and stoles. The deep mint green and purple dyed fur also appeared in stoles and neckpieces atop sleek dresses and gowns.
Her dresses featured high necks and cinched waists, with attention drawn to shoulders capped in black velvet or encrusted with jewels.
KaufmanFranco, the team of designers Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco, also showed on Monday, mixing high-brow with low while unveiling sequined gowns with fur trim alongside black leather jackets decorated with metallics. One biker jacket featured a plunging neckline with mink and silver fox.
The collection by Maison Martin Margiela emphasized top-heavy silhouettes with capes and puffer jackets over slim-cut trousers.
Designer Tracy Reese made the catwalk a real cat walk, sending out a model carrying a live cat, a first for New York Fashion Week.
Reese, a designer popular with first lady Michelle Obama, opened her show with a cheetah print jacket of black and gray, dotted with jewel-like colours.
She followed up with mix-and-match animal prints in an array of pieces - a cardigan, pullover sweater, tube skirt, tunic, skinny pants, shawl jacket and trench coat.
From fashion stalwart Diane von Furstenberg came jumpsuits in burnt orange suede and red felt, and boxy, cropped jackets in her vibrant collection of hot pinks, purples and graphic prints.
At the Tommy Hilfiger show, the designer drew inspiration from 1960s icons - giving a nod to designer Mary Quant and the model Twiggy in his trademark preppy pieces.
Hilfiger used a Prince of Wales check pattern in white, ivory and burgundy and magnified pinstripes and argyles in women's suits and outerwear.
Rebecca Taylor's fall and winter line went with slick biker chic silhouettes - a motorcycle jacket paired with a chiffon-pleated skirt and blazers topping skinny trousers.
The New Zealand-born Taylor, who is based in New York, showed a wealth of leather - T-shirts, biker vests and a leather pleated skirt with lace trim.
Taking a page from architecture, Taylor embellished looks with chain mail and lace mesh and used colour blocking that evoked stained glass windows - deep blue, oxblood, plum and violet.
Fashion Week wraps up on Thursday with shows by big names Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.
(Additional reporting by Marguerita Choy, Erin Geiger Smith and Eric Platt; editing by Steve Orlofsky, G Crosse)