Cozy layers, wools set tone at NY fashion week

Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:06pm EST
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Designers showed cozy layered looks in New York this week, wrapping thick scarves over chunky sweaters and rugged jackets in hopes that a trend of casual comfort will appeal to consumers coping with uncertain times.

Warm layers of hand-knit sweaters, roomy tweed coats and softly distressed leather jackets dominated the runways at New York Fashion Week, where scores of designers unveiled fall and winter 2010 collections.

"We're cocooning," said Judy Licht, who covers fashion for the Huffington Post. "When everything outside is fairly frightening in terms of the economy, in terms of where you're going to be working the next day, the first thing you reach for is something that makes you feel warm and enveloped and safe."

The woolly scarf could well be the one item consumers will find irresistible and buy for fall, said James Aguilar, spokesman for Prime Outlets stores that carry designer labels.

"People have to feel they can't live without something," he said. "That is what is going to drive the business."

Of course, in fashion, not just any old scarf will do.

"These are rich. They're interesting," Aguilar said. "What we're seeing with all this knitwear is an understanding of texture and proportion and silhouette and technique."


<p>A model presents a creation from the Anna Sui Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 17, 2010. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri</p>