Designers opt for elegance, ease in spring New York collections

Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:12pm EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Soft, billowing fabrics in muted colors with bursts of yellow, cobalt blue, black and red dominated the runways on Tuesday at New York Fashion Week as designers showing their spring/summer 2014 collections looked back to earlier, elegant eras.

With pleated, wide-legged trousers, sheer blouses, beaded, backless column gowns and tailored dresses and skirts, many styles were reminiscent of the 1920s and '30s.

London-based designer Jenny Packham, a favorite of Hollywood A-listers and Britain's Duchess of Cambridge who wore a blue polka dot Packham dress for her first public appearance with her newborn son, used classic elements such as checks, polka dots and stripes in new ways.

"It is very ephemeral. It is a bit of a fantasy collection, the idea of these girls walking down to a perfect picnic. It is actually a very Edwardian, '70s look," Packham, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of her label, said backstage.

Her collection was based loosely on the 1975 cult film "Picnic at Hanging Rock." Directed by Peter Weir, the film set in Australia in 1900 was about a boarding school picnic during which three girls wander off in a trance and disappear.

Packham captured the look with beaded empire and clinched-waist gowns with pearls and Swarovski crystals, pleated and lace blouses with palazzo pants and dresses and gowns in apple green, ivory, beige, peach, orange, red and yellow.

Badgley Mischka recreated the seaside glamour and sun-baked feel of the 1920s and '30s in Deauville, France in a collection of ivory and blue tailored but feminine daywear and evening dresses in a rainbow of colors.

The looks were inspired by French photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue, said Mark Badgley.   Continued...

 
A model presents a creation from Naeem Khan Spring/Summer 2014 collection during New York Fashion Week, September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Lott