September 6, 2014 / 1:03 AM / 3 years ago

Sheer fabrics, draped pants, take center stage at New York Fashion Week

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sheer fabrics, backless dresses, draped pants, slit skirts and pastel gowns were the dominant look as designers presented their spring 2015 collections in New York on Friday.

Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu, a favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama, featured navy blue solids mixed with greens in shimmery fabrics for a look that was all about beauty and women and sportswear at his downtown Manhattan show.

“This collection was about celebrating women and also the new age of American sportswear,” he said about the show, inspired by the “impeccable style” of British actress Charlotte Rampling, best known for her performance in the Nazi-themed 1974 film “The Night Porter.”

Along with flowing evening dresses in blacks, whites and umber, Wu, 31, also introduced the calf-leather “Diane” shoulder bag, named for his friend and muse, actress and former model Diane Kruger.

“Accessories are a growing category for our business,” Wu told Reuters in an interview.

Wu’s business is also growing. Just hours before the show, attended by Anna Winter, Conde Nast’s artistic director and former editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, Wu announced that he had sold a majority stake in his brand to InterLuxe, a new fashion platform chaired by his long-term friend Gary Wassner.

A model presents a creation from the Jason Wu Spring/Summer 2015 collection during New York Fashion Week September 5, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Wu decided to do the deal because he felt “like I had the perfect group behind me to take things to the next level,” which will include an opportunity to expand in retail and to develop his collection.

InterLuxe is a collaborative venture between New York-based private equity firm Lee Equity Partners and fashion industry executives including Wassner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Slideshow (3 Images)

Designer Monique Lhuillier played with different dress lengths and incorporated metallics, tulle, sequins, lace and silk crepe in her collection that was inspired by the sunrise.

Known for her bridal gowns, Lhuillier also included shorts, culottes, ankle-grazing trousers, balloon skirts, as well as feminine gowns in a range of pastel colors.

“Spring is all about lightness,” Lhuillier said. “I wanted it to be bright, reflective, shimmering, luminous, that is what you are seeing here today,” she added in an interview backstage before the start of the show.

Nearly 100 designers will showcase their collections for spring 2015 at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center and other venues around the city during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

The semi-annual event, which runs through Sept. 11, attracts thousands of buyers, fashion reporters, celebrities, fashionistas and wealthy customers.

Additional reporting by Ngozi Kemjika; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Ken Wills

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