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Styles range from playful to political

NEW YORK — Crunchy snow and ice greeted designers, models and fans at New York Fashion Week on Friday, a day after a snow storm pummelled the city.

NEW YORK — Crunchy snow and ice greeted designers, models and fans at New York Fashion Week on Friday, a day after a snow storm pummelled the city. What visitors got was two collections by Kate Spade, a political message at the Calvin Klein show and La Perla lingerie strutting out of the bedroom.

Among the day’s highlights:

Kate Spade turns in two lines

Kate Spade just wants to have fun.

The playful womenswear brand presented two collections at New York Fashion Week, complete with pom-pom accents, colourful fringe and a cake-shaped purse.

“I love the vibe. I love that it’s so flirty and feminine and very chic, but also has like a sense of humour to it. I think that’s really fun,” said actor Victoria Justice during the event held at New York’s famed Rainbow Room.

Leighton Meester, Jamie Chung and Camilla Belle also braved the cold for the morning presentation held on two floors with a dual purpose: A spring line of see-now, buy-now clothes and the fall 2017 collection inspired by 1920s Paris.

“The spring collection, which is appearing in the stores at the moment, select pieces are going to be available,” explained the brand’s chief creative officer Deborah Lloyd. “You can see it, love it and buy it, I hope.”

The small, buy-now spring line included fun accessories such as wicker purses in the shape of camels and monkeys and a large straw hat with colourful, dangling tassels.

There were jean dresses with floral appliqués and denim overalls paired with a cosy, fringed turtleneck sweater.

Another floor featuring Spade’s fall looks showcased feminine dresses and skirts with a moody edge of black lace, leather and faux fur.

Floral patterns mixed with leopard prints and high necklines ran throughout, accentuated with bows, ruffles and pearls.

Models posed, lounged and rotated around the centre of the room. One snacked on candies hidden in her black and pink gold-studded bag.

“It’s just very fun and young and fresh,” said Belle. “So exciting, colourful and happy and just kind of puts a smile on your face.”

— Nicole Evatt

Calvin Klein: A message from the runway

The message could not have been clearer or more pointed: Raf Simons’ debut collection for Calvin Klein opened and closed with the David Bowie song This is Not America.

“When you have a voice, you should use it,” Simons had said backstage just last week at his own label’s menswear show. And now, for his much-awaited bow with new employer Calvin Klein — for which he has moved to New York — the Belgian designer was using his.

The soundtrack wasn’t the only means Simons used to put across his message. A day earlier, Calvin Klein had sent guests patterned bandanas, with a note saying: “Unity, inclusion, hope and acceptance: Join us at Calvin Klein in wearing the white bandana. #tiedtogether.”

The clothes, too — designed along with the label’s Pieter Mulier — were meant to display an inclusive message, sort of a melting pot of styles. “It reflects the environment,” Simons wrote in the show notes. “It is the coming together of different characters and different individuals — just like America itself.”

There were nods to the American West for both women and men, with denim jackets over loose jeans, or colourful cowboy-style shirts. There was sporty America, in striped woolen standalone sleeves — similar to the arm-warmers shown by his men’s label. There were crisp business-like houndstooth suits and there were coats in colourful quilt patterns.

For some flash, there were a number of garments — dresses, coats, skirts — encased in a layer of plastic, looking like cellophane wrapping on a gift. In one dress, the plastic shielded a burst of feathers in white, yellow and black. A golden-yellow furry coat also had this laminated effect. Another common embellishment was a silver metallic flower, appearing on black leather jackets or sheer mesh tops that left little to the imagination.

Among the celebrity attendees were Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomie Harris, Kate Bosworth, Greta Gerwig, Brooke Shields, director Sofia Coppola, and supermodel Lauren Hutton.

Hutton praised both the show’s contents and its messaging.

“He’s a new miracle,” she said backstage of Simon’s arrival at the label, a post the former Dior designer has taken over from Francisco Costa. Asked whether politics should have an expression in fashion, she said: “I think that’s what all art is for. Fashion, if it’s good, always has something to say about society.”

Designer Diane von Furstenberg was also among the front-row guests. She wore a large button that said: “Fashion starts with Planned Parenthood.”

“It’s not about politics,” she explained. “It’s about women’s rights, about the body, and about human rights.”

— Jocelyn Noveck