Fashion designers unveil what works for work

Sun Sep 8, 2013 3:24pm EDT
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The latest fashions may look great draped on towering, lithe runway models, but what are top designers offering stylish women who want to look good at work?

Professional women have typically looked to designers such as Kenneth Cole, Nicole Miller and Jill Stuart for guidance and wearable options, all of whom showed their spring 2014 collections at New York's Fashion Week.

But can their revealing panels and cutouts, leather and lace, all well in evidence on the catwalks this week, be appropriate for the work environment?

Absolutely, said Cole, a U.S. American designer known for classically wearable fashions often in black and white.

"The workplace is evolving, and workwear is more accepting of street wear," Cole said ahead of his Saturday presentation, which he characterized as "1980's Harlem chic."

"It's an extraordinary opportunity," he said of designing fashionable work clothes.

"It's always been a priority for me to do cool, comfortable clothes that women can wear to work," he said. "There's no reason that women can't look great and be comfortable looking great."

Miller opted to empower women with a show entitled "Rebels With a Cause," bearing the theme "power meets pretty." She made heavy use of prints, patterns, appliques, metallic embroidery and beading, although the collection was virtually devoid of color but for a bit of soft peachy rose and milky blue.   Continued...

A model presents a creation from the Derek Lam Spring/Summer 2014 collection during New York Fashion Week September 8, 2013. REUTERS/Keith Bedford