On the Runway

New York: Utility chic goes femme at BCBG

New York Fashion Week kicks off uptown at the Lincoln Center, and my first show to catch is BCBG Max Azria. The massive venue is overflowing with fashion types bundled in layers of wool, leather, and fur, to combat the day’s negative-degree temperatures. Similarly, BCBG is thinking layers for next fall. Numerous looks began with thinly knit turtleneck base layers, topped with wispy paneled dresses and tunics that hit midi-lengths or skimmed the floor. Multi-buckle hip-belts tether lightweight fabrics and textured leather fold-over flap clutches complete the look. A warm ’70s-inflected colour palette of ochre, rust, peach, and chocolate brown gave way to vibrant sapphire blue and a shocking orangey-red. Prints held their own against solids in natural marbled or acid-washed patterns. The immediate take-away value for this week’s show-goers is the feminine utility-chic message: a wool parka or fur-lined poncho over a delicate maxi-length dress.