Gowns go with the flow on New York fashion runways

Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:36pm EDT
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By Jan Paschal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tinseltown evening gowns are shimmering and flowing on New York fashion runways this week as many designers shed the stiff, formal styles of seasons past.

From established powerhouses such as Badgley Mischka to newcomer Christian Siriano, the spotlight is on evening wear fit for Hollywood stars on red carpets and socialites hosting charity events.

Elegant, easygoing gowns of sleek silk chiffon and draped jersey are showcased in spring and summer 2010 collections by Farah Angsana, Reem Acra, Chado Ralph Rucci, Monique Lhuillier, Narciso Rodriguez, Vivienne Tam and Venexiana by Kati Stern.

"It's become more modern," said stylist Rachel Zoe between shows at New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. "We've pulled away from the big grand gowns. We're seeing a lot of mermaid silhouettes. It's more fun."

Zoe, known for putting such actresses as Anne Hathaway and Cameron Diaz in haute couture for the Academy Awards, noted a prevalence of short and tea-length dresses.

"It's young and refreshing," she said, especially for "all these young girls with their incredible legs."

But the long gown isn't about to fade away.

Christian Siriano, 23, among the youngest designers on hand this week, showed strapless and one-shoulder gowns in ocean blue, red, coral and blush, some in prints inspired by aerial photographs of Italy's Amalfi coast.   Continued...

<p>A model presents a creation at the Vivienne Tam Spring 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week September 12, 2009. REUTERS/Kena Betancur</p>