Everyday runway

Designers at New York's Fashion Week usually send out outlandish looks that are parsed for their usable pieces. Not this time.

Published September 23, 2006

One of fashion's basic ingredients is its ability to shock.

Whether added by a famous designer or an anonymous person on the street, shock value is what keeps us fascinated by, appalled by, obsessed with and loving fashion.

It's also one of the things that keeps fashion evolving.

For eight days in New York this month, about 200 designers - famous and not - took to venues around Manhattan to show off their creations for spring and summer 2007. They cited influences that included ballet dancers, American architecture, the tango, brainy women, portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and 1940s swimming movie doyenne Esther Williams. They framed their presentations in themes that ranged from a seaside boardwalk serenaded by Pachelbel's Canon Muzak to an estate sale hosted by two Caribbean salvage divers.

But the most shocking thing about the clothes was that overall, there was nothing shocking about them.

The biggest trends were carry-overs from the past few seasons. There were dresses of all shapes and lengths: mini to long, empire waist, trapeze, bubble skirts, circle skirts, A-line. The big colors were black, white and tan, with occasional reds and yellows, but missing were the brights usually associated with spring and summer. Metallics continued to be prominent, as did belts and layering. Pants and shorts had a low profile. When pants were shown, some were slouchy and some were skinny-legged.

And the outfits looked so everyday, most of them could have gone straight into the real world. Few looked like they were bought at a clown-school garage sale, as runway concoctions often do.

The good thing for Floridians is we can wear - and are wearing - these looks now. Toss on a swingy white jacket with very-fall skinny gray-wash jeans. Find a floaty jersey skirt and layer it: Put a camisole under a low-cut ballet-neck top, or a body suit with a cropped sweater. Belt a long coat over leggings or skinny pants and push up the sleeves to soak up some sun on your arms.

See for yourself, straight from the runway.

Sharon Fink can be reached at 727 893-8525 or fink@sptimes.com.


Check out Spring-Summer 2007 Fashion Week collections at www.style.com.