NY Fashion Week produces spring clothes styled to move

Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:02pm EDT
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The hottest trend emerging from New York Fashion Week hasn't been bold neon colors or cutting-edge silhouettes but simply practical clothes designed to sell.

Runways were filled with useful separates, uncomplicated sheath dresses and comfortable trousers aimed to appeal to consumers, observers said at New York Fashion Week for Spring 2013, which wrapped up on Thursday.

Absent was a stand-out, must-have look, such as monochrome outfits, one-shoulder dresses or asymmetrical hem lines that emerged from fashion designers in prior years, said experts.

"People aren't looking to be peacocks this season," said Robert Burke, a retail consultant. "Anything too loud and specific is not going to feel right."

Consumers coping with a weak economic recovery and a wobbly jobs market are more likely to choose subdued and practical styles, he said.

So spring promises pretty floral print blouses, slouchy shorts and fluid trousers topped with motorcycle or bomber jackets in soft light leather.

"There's an awful lot of practicality in this season's collections," said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail. "There's a lot of pieces you could put together and mix and match."

Fashion forecaster David Wolfe, creative director at The Doneger Group, called the spring collections "one of the most attractive, one of the most commercial" seasons he has seen in a decade, marred by nothing outlandish or difficult to sell.   Continued...

Designer Oscar De La Renta watches a model as she walks the runway during a show of his Spring/Summer 2013 collection during New York Fashion Week, September 11, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson