NY Fashion Week: Fall fashions channel retro glamour

Fri Feb 8, 2008 3:11pm EST
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By Jan Paschal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. recession may be ahead, but fashionistas are being offered an escape from the gloom with a glamorous fall look of lingerie-style designs, full skirts and retro belts shown on New York catwalks this week.

The collections marked a "return to grown-up glamour," said David Wolfe, creative director of trend forecaster The Doneger Group. "It reminds me of what happened to fashion in the Great Depression. Fashion offered us a great escape.

"The uncertainty of the economy, the indecision of the election, was reflected in clothes designed to be very, very beautiful, making women an offer they can't refuse," he said.

As New York Fashion Week kicked off last Friday at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, attracting thousands of buyers, celebrities and reporters from around the world, the U.S. stock market fell after the government reported jobs were lost in January for the first time in almost 4 1/2 years.

Yet backstage, designers prepared to bring on the bling, feathers and fur and splashes of purple, red, pink and green.

"It's very Elizabeth Taylor in 'Butterfield 8,"' designer Carmen Marc Valvo told Reuters, describing the inspiration for his collection, due to be shown on Friday. "In the opening scene, she's wearing her little slip and she throws the fur coat on top.

"It's very lingerie-inspired and it's about layering," said Valvo, who will show transparent blouses with corsets and pants. "It's about sensuality, feeling frail and uncertain, which reflects what's going on in the world."

Several designers, including New York Fashion Week newcomer Arthur Mendonca of Toronto, paired slim-cut slip dresses with a masculine tweed jacket or cardigan.   Continued...

<p>Models present creations for Calvin Klein's 2008/2009 Fall/Winter collection during New York Fashion Week February 7, 2008 . REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>