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New York fashion kings close out the week

Models present Marc Jacobs designs during New York Fsahion Week on February 13, 2014
Models present Marc Jacobs designs during New York Fsahion Week on February 13, 2014

New York design kings Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein closed out Fashion Week by unveiling their fall/winter runway collections to a star-studded audience.

Fashionistas braved a major snowstorm, picking their way on stilettos through the ice and slush to attend en masse the hotly anticipated catwalk shows of both fashion empires Thursday.

With New York fashion darling Marc Jacobs holding the last show, the global fashion bandwagon heads to London on Friday before winding its way to Milan and Paris.

His shows are always spectacular and this was no exception as models with translucent faces and bronze lips walked almost like zombies beneath low-hanging artificial clouds.

Models present designs by Ralph Lauren during New York Fashion Week on February 13, 2014
Models present designs by Ralph Lauren during New York Fashion Week on February 13, 2014

Dressed in monochrome, minimalist silhouettes of white, gray, bronze and earth, they marched through the maze-like set in clean, simple silhouette dresses over tight trousers.

A voice off stage repeated over and over again "happy days are here again," "let's sing a song together" and "the sky above will clear again."

The dresses were low cut, with a slit up the side, a silhouette repeated with low-cut tunics and heavier wooven matching trousers.

Earlier in the day, Lauren got a standing ovation from the crowd, which included actress Kim Basinger, for his younger line Polo and his classic Collection.

Actresses Lupita Nyong'o and Naomi Watts attend the Calvin Klein show during New York Fasion Week on February 13, 2014
Actresses Lupita Nyong'o and Naomi Watts attend the Calvin Klein show during New York Fasion Week on February 13, 2014

Polo offered up urban collegiate style in bright colors with bohemian adventure, a strappy black dress and large orange parka or a leather mini skirt with shirt and tie.

The Collection oozed glamour in monochrome, gray, ivory, white and pale pink. There were large capes in creme cashmere, elegant trousers and a spangly pink evening dress.

"I love the contrast of Polo's cool eclectic spirit with the luxury and modern glamour of Collection," Lauren said. "Each represent my vision of the individuality and style."

A model walks the runway at the Anna Sui show during New York Fashion Week on February 12, 2014
A model walks the runway at the Anna Sui show during New York Fashion Week on February 12, 2014

In a TriBeCa loft with views of the iconic Manhattan skyline, Calvin Klein unveiled a collection unique for the week in showing only clothes appropriate to chilly weather.

In black, white, green, peach and brown, women's creative director Francisco Costa sent models out in long skirts, chunky high neck sweaters and wide-collared coats.

There were sleeveless and pleated woolen dresses with the seam stitched on the outside, use of patchwork and with stripped detail on hemlines.

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o, stunning in a pale pink dress and an Oscar favorite for her role in "12 Years A Slave" sat next to Anna Wintour and US actress Naomi Watts.

Traffic was treacherous in New York, where eight to 14 inches (20 to 36 centimeters) of snow were expected to fall and flakes turned to freezing rain.

- 'A season of color' -

A model walks the runway at the Tommy Hilfiger show during New York Fashion Week on February 10, 2014
A model walks the runway at the Tommy Hilfiger show during New York Fashion Week on February 10, 2014

Key trends of the week have been fur coats, back and reworked, gypsy dresses, bomber jackets, leather, metallics, tartan, oversized jackets, belts and sweatpants.

"It's a season of color, of contrast where lifestyles are mixed, furs are important," Nicole Fischelis, fashion director at Macy's department store, told AFP.

"Lengths are either very short or very long. We see shorts and maxi dresses."

She singled out established US designers Jacobs, Michael Kors, Vera Wang and Tommy Hilfiger for special praise, and had her eye on the upcoming new generation.

Wang's collection was a "good mix of clothes that are very wearable but at the same time very romantic, extremely well made, very modern with astonishing quality," she said.

Kors was "very, very good" and Hilfiger "excellent" with "all the must-haves" of the season, Fischelis added.

She also praised Anna Sui, whose exotic collection was inspired by the Shanghai of the 1920s, as a colorful show that put everyone in a good mood.

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