Sep 10, 2012
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Leisure-oriented looks hit runways at New York Fashion Week

Sep 10, 2012

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fashion world trendwatchers were validated on Friday when collections by top designers Nicole Miller and Charlotte Ronson exhibited the predicted influences of casual, athletic and leisure wear.

Miller, a favorite of professional women for her wearable, stylish and confident designs, ventured into a more playful arena for spring 2013, with a dominant theme of floral prints configured in geometric shapes, and tight leggings in stretch leather or mottled prints.

Nicole Miller - SS 2013 / Photo: Pixel Formula

The collection, which Miller dubbed "Batteries Not Included" and was meant to suggest improbable juxtapositions, 1980s surrealist art, digital nature and sci-fi, used a palette of teal, soft greys, pink, mushroom and the ubiquitous black.

In keeping with another trend this season, hard met soft with Miller topping a white linen dress with a black leather biker jacket. Shorts, which suggested running or track shorts, were well represented, lapels were large and coat and jacket sleeves pushed up.

The collection was also heavy on tunics, which were variously rendered in silk and organza or abstract floral silk, paired with tight striped pants or stretch leather leggings.

Vests were loose, oversized and flowing, while details were evident in beaded bodices or tank tops. Texture got a nod from separates rendered in leather, and what Miller called pixilated sequin or jacquard, which she employed for tunics and dresses.

The looks were decidedly more classic, if similarly leisure-oriented, at English designer Ronson's Friday evening show. The Friday shows spoke to what Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus, called "relaxed chic."

Ronson, especially popular with younger fashion mavens, showed mostly classic, highly wearable, mostly unstructured looks.

Hemlines were short, and midriffs often bare in a collection rendered in shades of soft spring green and yellow, the latter which Ronson dubbed lemonade.

But like Miller, Ronson's show emphasized shorts and rompers, and also played hard and soft elements off one another, as in a chain link lace mini-dress and mini-skirt.

She also showed several tops dubbed bralettes, which resembled sports bras, in solid or water lily print or midnight leather. A collegiate-inspired concept of varsity vests, cardigans and jackets completed the sporty looks.

There were highly feminine styles as well, many with sheer panels in gauzy chiffon. Hemlines ran short, and cutouts lent netted pullovers and draped dresses a sexy edge.

Among the bolder pieces were vinyl varsity jackets turned out in electric shades of pink or blue, as well as black.

Earlier on Friday, Bahrain-based label Noon by Noor made its New York Fashion Week debut, with socialites Nicky Hilton and Olivia Palermo sitting in the front row.

Designers, cousins and Bahrain royalty Noor Rashid Al Khalifa and Haya Mohammed Al Khalifa showed long flowing silk chiffon skirts and dresses with thigh-high splits, neon pink pants suits, brocade biker jackets and gold metallic jacquards.

"Concentrating on sleek minimalist contouring, pared back separates are realized in the most luxurious fabrics," the Noon by Noor collection notes said. "Luxe utilitarian tailoring balances structure and fluidity."

Fashion Week continues through the weekend, with Saturday shows by Project Runway winner Christian Siriano, Rebecca Taylor and Alex Herkovitch. Tracy Reese, Diane Von Furstenberg and Zac Posen show their collections on Sunday.

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nicholsl; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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