NEW YORK -- Most people are taught from a young age that they want their outfits to match.
Isn’t that why there are suits? And belts should complement shoes. And try to wear the same shades of black, right?
"It’s all in the mix: feminine with masculine, sexy and slouchy, tailored with sport, chic with street," according to notes for the DKNY show.
It was OK at Tracy Reese that a raffia lace dance skirt covered with circle patterns was worn with a floral cropped shirt, and a checkered backpack was strapped to a floral top.
Designers can do it well, sometimes, with years of experience mixing colors and patterns -- and having confidence. And times have changed, too.
"There’s more freedom now to express yourself through your clothes than there was 20 years ago, 50 years ago. You can wear that full feminine skirt with the man’s shirt. Go ahead, take your cues from the runway," Reese said.
Cole’s sporty Anorak and track jackets, hoodies and drawstring pants weren’t clothes to just throw on in the morning without care. The mix of snakeskin, calf-hair camo and leather elevated normally casual silhouettes.
The tight ship Victoria Beckham seems to run at fashion week allowed her collection to sail smoothly down the runway.
For Beckham, there was no chaos or confusion. That goes for her small, insider-only show as well as the clothes she offers. She sticks to her vision: a chic, no-fuss approach to fashion.
Things were mostly black and white, and there was no adornment or embellishment.
Twenty-five years in fashion is worth celebrating, and that’s what Donna Karan did Sunday at her DKNY show.
She was all smiles as she did her lap of the runway after her parade of flirty, colorful looks.
Karan wasn’t afraid to pay homage to the late 1980s when this brand -- geared toward a younger woman with a smaller paycheck than her signature collection -- was launched. The soundtrack was courtesy of the Beastie Boys, Run DMC and Aerosmith, and the backdrop was done in graffiti, reminiscent of New York’s grittier time.
"We celebrated the city of life," she said. "It happens in New York City.
Diane Von Furstenberg
After four days of runway shows, it takes something special to get the fashion week crowd excited, and apparently Naomi Campbell is it.
Campbell, got the often jaded crowd cheering when she wore the finale look: a black, gold and white knit macrame sleeveless shift dress.
It fit into von Furstenberg’s broader theme of "oasis," which also inspired some retro glam tunic-and-pants sets, ombre prints and a safari animal T-shirt dress worn by a model and von Furstenberg herself when she took her bow.
Does Monique Lhuillier have perfect timing or what? Fashion Week hits right before the Emmy Awards and that surely is her bread and butter.
But her own wardrobe was a factor, she said. "I always look at women that I know and myself, and I’m like, ‘What do I want to wear next?’ I always tell myself I want to have to want to wear these clothes because if I don’t, then women won’t."
Gone were big ballgowns or super-slim sheaths. Do we miss them? Not really.
Cynthia Rowley was true to, well, Cynthia Rowley with fun and funky dresses and two-piece sets featuring thick embroidery.
"For me, this season, I just wanted to be true to myself and my brand. It’s sporty, it’s pretty, it’s a little sexy, a little bit colorful, but also experimenting with a lot of new techniques," she said.
Joseph Altuzarra offered this message for the woman he dresses: Relax..
"I love the shape of the average woman’s body and that’s why I always say woman and not girl," the 30-year-old said.
Altuzarra’s woman isn’t afraid of his high-slit dresses and skirts, long fringe on a white leather jacket and skirts, or white wool ponchos as he left behind some of the structure and aggressiveness of collections past.
The best model for the new spring Herve Leger collection wasn’t on the runway, she was next to it: Nicki Minaj.
Her presence largely changed the tone of the audience conversation, which had been about rumored financial troubles with the label, but Minaj -- even with the camera-and-security frenzy she caused -- helped put the focus back on the clothes.
If there are maracas involved, it’s got to be a good time, right? Reese threw herself a little Cuba-themed party at New York Fashion Week on Sunday.
She said she was doing a little dance herself backstage. There was live music and bags of dried plantains were left on the chairs for the audience.
"This collection was so much fun," she said in an interview "All the girls and the one guy in the office had the best time doing it."
Hoffman has some hashtags for us: Fearless. Rainbow. Vibes.
She said the collection is fit for a gang of rainbow warriors. As in warriors with extra-long braids down their backs, some dressed in sheer beaded chiffon adorned with neon orange, yellow and green. Others went into runway battle in bright tribal prints for mid-leg looks, shorts and swimsuits.
At 27 and fresh from an island vacation, Christian Siriano the designer is working on Christian Siriano the mogul.
The former makeup artist and hair stylist has a yearlong beauty partnership with Sebastian Professional, an unnamed fragrance and his bespectacled eyes on eyewear.