NEW YORK - Design royalty closed New York Fashion Week Thursday with bubble skirts from Marc Jacobs, safari chic from Ralph Lauren and minimalist silhouettes from Calvin Klein, paving the way for the European season.
Crossing the look of trench coats and North Korean soldiers' uniforms, Marc Jacobs unveiled long tunics, trouser suits and mini bubble dresses for spring/summer 2015 in the closing show of the week.
Green-khaki, blue, emerald-green and beige strapless mini dresses or shirts buttoned up to the neck with large belts cinching the waist were decorated by large brass buttons.
Shoes were mostly flat and velour - sandals that appeared part-Birkenstock, part orthopedic. Guests found headphones from Beats by Dre, recently acquired by Apple, tethered to their seat to fully immerse themselves in the soundtrack.
At Ralph Lauren, his woman for the new season was part adventurer, part princess, decked out in sage-green ghurka cotton cargo pants, tulle evening gowns and golden sandals. Guests best summed up the look as safari chic.
There was a deep amethyst silk top, lemon silk taffeta made into a blouson jacket, and plenty of hot pink and bright orange paired with the preponderance of sage green.
For daywear there were jodhpurs, suede cargo pants, cotton safari shirts and a safari jacket, a suede skirt, and suede peplum and nude tulle beaded tops.
For evening there was a hot-pink evening gown with tulle skirt and tight bodice, belted at the waist. Or a full yellow tulle skirt paired with a sage green safari shirt, opened at the neck to reveal layered beads in a necklace.
"Beautiful, gorgeous, chic, safari-chic, I think he took us to Africa," said Avril Graham, journalist at Harper's Bazaar US.
Lauren an American icon
It was the second collection of the week for Lauren, 74, who unveiled his Polo line to great fanfare at an innovative 4D holographic event in Central Park.
"He's an American icon so he's just fantastic. You couldn't have a fashion week without Ralph Lauren," said Suzanne Donaldson from the Mrs Sizzle website.
At Calvin Klein, Brazilian-born womenswear creative director Francisco Costa offered a total contrast in black, navy, white, red and silver.
Actress and New York fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker sat in the front row next to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour for a show that did little to deviate from the vintage Klein look.
The signature look was a sleeveless dress worn over a longer viscose fluted skirt, whose slender cut was amplified by a high-waisted thin stainless belt.
The same look was repeated again and again, copied in patchwork black and navy, or with an oversized pleated pant.
There was a striking navy leather jacket flared below the waist, mesh honeycomb knit dresses, lacquer-perforated leather coats and T-shirt dresses, jacquard coats and tank dresses.
For evening, the look remained plain, a beautifully tailored white viscose sleeveless dress with simple metal detail on the shoulder. Collar lines were all round at the neck.
Costa appeared at the end of the catwalk show for a brief, modest bow and a smile to very muted applause.
Next up, London, Paris and Milan will take over the fashion relay.
Ruth Finley, 90, who created and for decades has run the Fashion Calendar guide to Fashion Week, told AFP she enjoyed the strong use of colour on the runway.
"It was amazing. There were so many shows, more than 300 and every show was packed, every seat was taken," she said.
"Ralph Lauren showed a lot of colour. Beautiful, really beautiful clothes and I love the colour." Carolina Herrera - who turned heads with her use of a new fabric called techno pique - was also "terrific, absolutely great," said Finley.