New NY fashions appeal to stay-at-home traveler

Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:18am EDT
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Imaginative styles evoking journeys to far-off lands dominated New York fashion shows this week, with experts saying the spring lines reflect consumers' economic woes and desire to escape uncertainty.

Travel-inspired slouchy trousers, trench coats, dreamy chiffons and exotic prints filled the runways, where hundreds of designers showed spring 2009 collections to buyers, media, trend-setters and critics in the semi-annual Fashion Week.

"With the recession and with the uncertainty of the presidential election looming, I think everyone wants an escape," said Tim Gunn, creative director at Liz Claiborne and a star of Bravo television's popular "Project Runway" show.

"I do," he added.

Fashion arbiter Anna Wintour, editor in chief at Vogue magazine, said designers were showing optimistic styles and focusing on their signature looks.

"No one's trying anything too insane," she told Reuters. "We're not going to see a lot of dark, dreary clothes.

"In times like these, women want to look pretty without doing anything too over the top. We've got enough bad news as it is," she said.

Designer Rubin Singer, who called his collection "Voyage," said he based the looks on luxury sea travel of the 1940s.   Continued...

<p>A model presents a creation from the Michael Kors Spring 2009 collection at New York Fashion Week September 10, 2008. REUTERS/Keith Bedford</p>