NEW YORK Furs, richly beaded gowns and tuxedo jackets were all over the runways on Tuesday at New York Fashion Week as designers opted for feminine elegance in their fall and winter 2013 collections.
Deep V-necks, draping and long-sleeve gloves were in abundance, along with brocades in muted as well as rich colours and plenty of black.
Badgley Mischka featured gold-beaded jackets and black pencil skirts, sleek tuxedo suits and jackets over gold metallic jersey, and tulle and crepe gowns.
The design duo created a sexy and sophisticated femme fatale look with fox fur vests, collars and wraps and flowing gowns with beaded shoulders and waists.
"I thought it was magnificent -- the romanticism, the fluidity and the craftsmanship," said Gwen Mader, a New York fashion editor. "It was one of the most beautiful collections I've seen this season."
Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who met while studying at Parson School of Design in New York and have worked together since 1988, are a favourite among Hollywood's elite with their glamorous style harking back to an earlier era.
Halle Berry, Helen Mirren and Katie Perry are among the A-listers who have walked the red carpet in their creations.
London-based designer Jenny Packham, who counts the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton among her clients, looked back to the intellectual salons of 17th century Paris, where women discussed the arts and literature, for her designs.
"This collection is inspired by the rich tones and hues of these salons, the shades of midnight blue, scarlet reds, cinnamon and lustrous opals and by the spirit of freedom that imbued them," she said in a statement ahead of the show.
Packham, who has been showing her collections in New York for the past few years, paired an ivory gown with a beaded coat, a sparkling, jewelled sweater with a flowing, full skirt and a red gown with cap sleeves and a sheer overlay.
A teal V-neck gown with a sheer beaded top across the shoulder and bodice was among the highlights of the show that attracted actresses Katherine Heigl and Vanessa Hudgens to the front row.
Like Middleton, who turned heads in a Packham emerald-green pleated gown she wore to a concert in London last summer and wowed onlookers in a shimmering, slinky silver full-length creation during a night out with Prince William, Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson and Kate Winslet are also fans of the label.
Designer Vera Wang chose a more modern look for her collection, with black and beige geometric-cut jackets and coats, pencil skirts, cocktail dresses and gowns with draping at the waist and bold brocades.
Long gloves reaching nearly to the shoulder, furs, angle-cut skirts and wide-cut vests and jackets were also part of the collection that was viewed from the front row by American Vogue Editor Anna Wintour and the magazine Creative Director Grace Coddington.
The semi-annual New York Fashion Week, a precursor to shows in Paris, London and Milan, attracts some 232,000 people to the hundreds of shows at Lincoln Center and throughout the city. The designers, buyers, stylists and press who attend the 500 or so shows spend about $15 million on hotels and restaurants, according to city estimates.
(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Marguerita Choy)