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N.Y. Fashion Week blends celebrity, sophistication

NEW YORK (AP) ― New York Fashion Week was equal parts celebrity and sophistication Tuesday, with runway shows that included a collection by red carpet favorite Naeem Khan and a new line by Serena Williams.

Naomi Campbell made an appearance at Badgley Mischka’s show, which also marked its silver anniversary, while a trio caused a stir with a no-clothes fashion moment.

U.S. Open 2014 tennis champion Serena Williams (center) with Vogue editor Anna Wintour (left)during New York Fashion Week. (AP-Yonhap)
U.S. Open 2014 tennis champion Serena Williams (center) with Vogue editor Anna Wintour (left)during New York Fashion Week. (AP-Yonhap)

From grand slam to grand fashion

Fresh off her third straight U.S. Open win, Serena Williams took on New York Fashion Week with her first runway show, as a celebrity crowd that included Vogue editor Anna Wintour watched from the front row.

The tennis champ said she was working on the collection, a mix of casual and dress clothes for the shopping network HSN, even while she was mowing down competitors at the U.S. Open ― casting models and choosing their looks. She was inspired by couture shows like Dior, but with a toned-down vibe, she said.

She captured the title on Sunday by defeating good friend Caroline Wozniacki, who showed up at Tuesday’s show to support Williams. Williams said she planned to return the favor by coming back to New York when Wozniacki is scheduled to run the New York City Marathon in November.

The Tory Burch Spring 2015 collection (AP-Yonhap)
The Tory Burch Spring 2015 collection (AP-Yonhap)

Tory Burch’s artistic inspiration

There were sequins, there were fringes, and there were, of course, purses. Tory Burch’s spring collection was an eclectic mix of bold patterns and looks that could morph from a day wedding to a cocktail party to the red carpet.

Among the key looks: A shirt minidress with color blocks of red, black, blue and orange; cream pants with dark tree prints with a dark-blue solid waist stripe; black-and-white patterned cotton shorts with a fringe; an ankle-long taupe dress accented by metallic designs; and pants with blue, black and cream vertical stripes and tuxedo-like black stripes running down the side. The fabrics were varied too, from knits and cottons to canvas and linens.

Naeem Khan’s fashion oops

A king of brilliant and bejeweled red carpet dressing, Naeem Khan mixed his signature sparkle with gowns of sporty stripes Tuesday at New York Fashion Week.

He had a single oops moment ― for most women, anyway ― in a shorty short outfit of open red panels that exposed an intrepid model’s thonged backside.

Khan rolled out the dazzle in silver, gold and a starburst of white in a beaded cocktail dress. There were shiny satins in kelly green and sunny yellow in several styles.

For that Hollywood moment when only megawatt gold will do, Khan provided a fully sequined, body-skimming gown, flaired at the bottom with an open, sexy back.

The Thom Browne Spring 2015 collection (AP-Yonhap)
The Thom Browne Spring 2015 collection (AP-Yonhap)

Sheer luxury at Oscar de la Renta

There was lots to see on the runway at Oscar de la Renta’s Fashion Week show on Tuesday evening. But you were even luckier if you could see into the wings.

There, the 82-year-old master designer sat on a chair and looked intently at a monitor as he supervised the movements of each model traveling down the runway. At the end, he emerged smiling ― with supermodel Karlie Kloss on one arm ― to take a bow. He kissed Kloss on the cheek, then another model. He went back into the wings, and the models stood and cheered him loudly. 
The Oscar de la Renta Spring 2015 collection (AP-Yonhap)
The Oscar de la Renta Spring 2015 collection (AP-Yonhap)

As for his spring 2015 collection, it had all the sumptuous, rich detail that de la Renta delivers every time. And the designer seemed happy to show some skin, with a number of his lacy skirts and gowns revealing the entirety of the models’ endless legs, and occasionally more.

The designer began with more casual designs, pairing a large buffalo check print, in pink, light blue or black, with more delicate looks such as a white lacy skirt.

He got fancier as he progressed. An ivory organza embroidered dress was beautifully embellished with hand-painted flowers and ostrich feathers. Another dress, in white tulle, was covered with crystal and ostrich-feather embroidery.

De la Renta’s three final looks were all in a bright key-lime green, with Kloss closing down the show in a glamorous ivory silk gown, shorter in front, with green organza leaf embroidery.

Jenny Packham serves up Monroe in sparkles

Jenny Packham served up Marilyn Monroe on a celebratory platter Tuesday in sparkling showstoppers of blue, silver and red.

The British powerhouse designer is known for dressing the Duchess of Cambridge, Nicole Richie and most recently Anna Gunn for the Emmys. For the red carpet, she was true to her signature shimmer in silhouettes Marilyn would have appreciated.

Packham even wrote a “Dear Marilyn” letter she included in her show notes:

“I’ve read the book and listened to the recordings, visited your bungalow at the Beverly Hills and sat in your chair at the Max Factor building where you became a blonde, all the while challenging why you are still so relevant in this brave new world,” it read in part. “For me, it’s that smile that makes you ever relevant and time enduring.”

Along with body-skimming gowns expertly embellished to glisten under lights, Packham used a playful baby pink for day looks.

She went to hot pink for a slinky off-the-shoulder dress one can picture Monroe wearing with big black sunglasses.

This being a New York Fashion Week for spring collections, Packham used a burst of white and yellow flowers on a grand ball gown and a maxi dress with half sleeves and a high center slit.

Packham said in a backstage interview that Monroe’s “technicolor imagery is endless.” She went with obvious references and is proud of them.

“I started noticing that I see her every day in some shape or form,” she said, “and how amazing that actually is.”