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Through the storm, Fashion Week goes on

Diane von Furstenberg’s chic layered prints were exuberant and flowed with bursts of silk and chiffon.


Diane von Furstenberg’s chic layered prints were exuberant and flowed with bursts of silk and chiffon.

NEW YORK — “This is not a publicity stunt,” announced Kelly Cutrone, the head of the public relations firm People’s Revolution. She asked the audience at Sunday’s Emerson show to wait patiently as designer Jackie Fraser-Swan’s family rushed from Penn Station to Lincoln Center. The Boston designer’s family members were delayed on trains, and Fraser-Swan was determined to have her four daughters in the audience after the storm. After all, at New York Fashion Week, the show must go on.

Diane von Furstenberg

“Life is a party” declared von Furstenberg in the program notes for her Fall/Winter collection. Although when it comes to a von Furstenberg show, it always feels like a party. It’s not just the atmosphere on her Lincoln Center runway that resembles a star-studded celebration. Her chic layered prints were exuberant and flowed with bursts of silk and chiffon. There was a jungle of leopard prints, snake skins, and pony hair. To a soundtrack suited for Studio 54, she offered a wardrobe of maxi dresses in opulent aubergines and ruby reds, paired with excessive rabbit fur jackets — a dream of the 1970s. None of this is new for von Furstenberg, but why mess with success?


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Local designer Jackie Fraser-Swan continued her rapid fashion rise Sunday, splicing together Tommy Hilfiger’s prep school aesthetic with Charlotte Ronson’s ’90s bad girl vibe. Her jumper dresses and shifts were structured, more polished, and held wider appeal than previous Emerson collections. While she designs with an international point of view, her New England roots were inescapable in the plaids and houndstooth patterns of her double pleat back blouses and baby doll dresses. Fraser-Swan’s target customer skews young, so the simplicity of her runway was logi­­­cal, but it lacked a show-stopping finale. Given how quickly she’s jumped into the fashion fray, that showstopper will no doubt arrive shortly.

Carolina Herrera

No one does luxury like Herrera, and that message was clear at her Lincoln Center show Monday as she sent out looks such as a shimmering gold satin trench with fur collar, striking red column gowns, and spider chrysanthemum print dresses. Some would complain that her clothes are for a narrow audience of Park Avenue elite, but she should be applauded for refusing to desert her base: well-heeled women of a certain age.

Tommy Hilfiger

Both the men’s collection Hilfiger showed Friday and the women’s collection he showed Sunday were a dizzying hodgepodge of argyle, hounds­tooth, and windowpane plaid. The mixing and matching of patterns was a nod to Savile Row and the 1960s, and as avant-garde as Hilfiger gets. Putting his toe just slightly outside of his comfort zone made for a far more interesting collection.

Christopher Muther can be reached at
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