Fashion outlook for fall is warm and cozy

Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:37am EST
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fashion consumers buffeted by recession's blows and chilled by bleak news may find welcome warmth and comfort in styles emerging for the fall season.

From edgy newcomers to traditionalists, designers showing fall 2009 collections this week in New York went heavily with cozy sweaters, soft cowl necks, leggings and snugly scarves.

The looks were straight-forward, if not downright sensible, for an era when lavish spending is clearly out of style.

"These are not clothes meant for Park Avenue lunches. They are meant for cozy nights by the fire," said James Aguiar, former fashion director for Bergdorf Goodman. "We're in a safe phase. We're not seeing outrageous."

Thick, oversized sweaters -- as coats, dresses, vests and capes -- were omnipresent at the semi-annual string of shows by such designers as Carolina Herrera, Max Azria, Luca Orlandi, Adrienne Vittadini, Victoria Bartlett and Tracy Reese.

Designers didn't stop at just one. Layers of sweaters upon sweaters showed up at Yigal Azrouel, Akiko Ogawa and Generra.

Loose coats came in plaid at Adam and Monarchy, jackets sported hoods and scarves were tied casually like bibs.

But slouchy didn't mean sloppy. Sweaters were belted, mixed with sexy chiffons and paired with supple leggings or skinny jeans, especially by Diane von Furstenberg and Tony Cohen.   Continued...

<p>A model presents a creation from the Donna Karan Fall 2009 collection during New York Fashion Week February 16, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>