Feb 10, 2013
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Lacoste and Gurung lift snowy New York

Feb 10, 2013

NEW YORK - The sun returned to Manhattan after a severe storm Saturday and New York Fashion Week had reasons to celebrate of its own, with a futuristic Lacoste show and a stylishly militaristic vision from Prabal Gurung impressing on the catwalks.

Prabal Gurung. (Pixel Formula)

After two days in alarm over the gathering blizzard, fashionistas surveyed the snow blanketing the city and were not only relieved that they'd survived, but declared they loved the look.

"We were in a very white mood... it's a sheer delight!" Alexandre de Betak told AFP after the Lacoste show at Lincoln Center.

"It's been three days that we knew it would snow and we just had to change the planning a bit to get the set up earlier."

Betak was responsible not just for producing Lacoste's collection, but also Jason Wu's on Thursday, Band of Outsiders on Saturday, and Derek Lam and DVF on Sunday.

Organizers at Prabal Gurung were in a similarly buoyant mood: "It was just a tempest in a teapot! Everyone was scared and in the end everyone turned up on time. There are 10 cm (four inches) of snow in the streets of Manhattan and that's it," said Etienne Russo, founder of Villa Eugenie.

The collection of Portuguese designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista for Lacoste and then that of Gurung were as eye catching as nature's displays outside.

Gurung's models came dressed not just for winter, but worse - wearing powerful-looking military style boots, albeit with golden heels. Above, they wore khaki - which appears to be emerging as a trend this season -- and navy blue and scarlet.

"Navy blue and army green and sky high metallic heels and harnesses. Yep, this means war. And he's winning," a fashion blogger Tweeted.

Dressing his models in long, asymmetric, diamond-studded silk dresses with partially bare backs, Gurung was taking no prisoners.

He told AFP his goal was about "empowerment and advancement, invention."

He recalled that the US military had redesigned male uniforms for women, "so that idea set me thinking about what does it mean to be empowered as a woman."

"The khaki," he said, "I was feeling it... It was just because of the theme of the story."

Lacoste may have the ancient-looking crocodile as its symbol, but Oliveira's models were "sent into the future," he said.

"Oh's" and "ah's" spread as huge doors released the first model striding out in sculptural, tightly-controlled lines.

There was more green, but also electric blue and bright orange vying for supremacy with the wintery whites and grays. Extra round shoulders offered soft shelter.

"It's very good Lacoste, very good, very updated in the use of materials and volumes," said Tancrede de Lalun, chief fashion buyer at Printemps.

The day also saw Jill Stuart, Calla, Monique Lhuillier and Band of Outsiders collections, but fashion editors had their sights set especially on the upcoming show of Alexander Wang, recently named as creative director at Balenciaga.

New York Fashion Week's autumn-winter collection for 2013-14 features a total of more than 300 shows and presentations up to February 14.

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