NEW YORK (AP) _ Bikini season may be over, but this is no time to tone down the workout. Many of the styles on the runway at New York Fashion Week flash a bit of skin here or there: bare midriffs, cutout backs, keyhole necklines.
The silhouettes in spring previews that entered a fourth day Sunday aren't necessarily skin tight, but it's not a season of full-on floaty frocks, either.
``We've gone so far away from overt sexiness, but the reality is, sex sells. At some point the shopper wants to be sexy,'' said Hal Rubenstein, fashion director of InStyle magazine. ``Illusion fabric on a shoulder or a little skin showing on a midriff gives you a hint without giving it all away.''
Victoria Beckham and DKNY continued the trend with bra-style tops, while many of Alexander Wang's looks were seemingly held together by fishing wire. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week continues through Thursday before the fashion crowd heads to London, Milan and Paris.
The Alexander Wang Spring 2013 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP-Yonhap News)
The audience at Alexander Wang is trained to know the best is coming last.
The mostly inventive black-and-white, pieced-leather looks that filled the first part of Saturday's show would have held Wang's place as one of the princes of cool. There were sporty parkas, tops inspired by hockey jerseys and even some more refined halter dresses.
Wang could have called it a collection and be done with it.
However, the final parade of nine models _ all wearing a cream color _ had their embroidered tank tops, pencil skirts, crewneck dresses and Bermuda shorts turn into glow-in-the-dark lightsticks when they assumed a final pose on the runway and the lights went out.
Wang also created a stir by having model Liberty Ross _ the wife of the director Kristen Stewart had an affair with _ walk the runway, along with the likes of Erin Wasson. Jennifer Aniston's fiance actor Justin Theroux sat in the front row along with rapper A$AP Rocky.
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
The Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2013 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP-Yonhap News)
Diane von Furstenberg called her spring collection ``Palazzo.'' ``La Dolce Vita'' also would have worked.
The muse has ``the polish of a princess and the heart of a gypsy,'' von Furstenberg said, and she travels from Rome to Marrakesh and then off to Jaipur, India.
She takes with her on this journey tunics and skinny-leg pants _ practically silk leggings _ to wear during the day, and a blood-orange scarf gown attached to a silver choker and cuff bracelets for the night. She brings her kiwi-green gown with a cutout neckline just in case she'll need it for a last-minute, black-tie invitation.
The trip is definitely more play than work, a bit of a departure for von Furstenberg whose label often is the workhorse of a career woman. But these clothes fuel the fantasy she might be having at her desk.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin was on hand and Von Furstenberg and some of the models wore Google Glasses that were collecting video for a project to be released on Google-Plus and YouTube on Thursday.
Victoria Beckham's show not only looks like her signature pulled-together, well-edited style, but it feels like her, too.
She's the thoughtful hostess with waiters offering morning juice to the crowd at the New York Public Library, but she keeps the guest list very tight. She's one of the biggest draws of the week, but there's no frenzy of paparazzi photographers. (Husband David Beckham, however, did take some photos from his seat.)
Beckham said she checks _ or doublechecks _ every look to make sure ``it looks good from every angle.''
The clothes for spring had a delicacy that she said was new for her this season, although the clothes remained substantial and structured. It was the touch of illusion lace, the lingerie bra top or hemline of pleated chiffon that took the edge off banded short skirts, zip-back sheaths and shirtdresses.
``I want to design what I want to wear,'' she said.
The DKNY Spring 2013 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP-Yonhap News)
What can stop traffic in always-bustling New York? Donna Karan in a taxicab-yellow raincoat.
Karan took her bow in the eye-catcher at Sunday's DKNY New York Fashion Week preview to the delight of the fashion insiders and to the passers-by on the street who could peek in the open doors to the Chelsea studio space.
She turned out a collection of mostly sporty looks featuring white perforated leather (think golf-glove material), camouflage prints, bathing suits-turned-bodysuits, bra tops and long neoprene dresses with mesh backs and sexy inserts. One of those dresses was in the same super-bright yellow that Karan wore.
DKNY is supposed to dress its customers every day and for every occasion, Karan said in a post-show interview: ``When I can wear the same thing as the girls on the runway, I've done my job.''