A bigger, badder DKNY and black and white at Vera Wang

The Associated Press
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The DKNY Spring 2017 collection is presented during Fashion Week in New York, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Fashion Week heads into the final stretch Tuesday with plenty of big designers to come. It was DKNY's turn Monday, along with Zac Posen, Thom Browne and others.

The fresh design team at DKNY focused on the future with a bolder collection than the legacy looks of yore by Donna Karan, and Posen spoke in garden shades and prints, putting a contemporary edge on classic cocktail and evening looks with technical fabrics, embroidery and beads.

Some highlights:

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BLACK, WHITE AND MYSTERIOUS AT VERA WANG

Vera Wang brought a dark, brooding, almost eerie atmosphere to her runway show at New York Fashion Week, with exaggerated proportions like sleeves that extended past the fingers and dangled toward the legs.

Wang famously loves black, and all of her garments were in black or white — but mostly black. And they were unusual: Besides the over-long sleeves — "almost like a glove," she described them — there were a number of structured jackets that had no shoulders.

Wang said the three main concepts she was going for were power, craft and "mystery — dark, dark, mysterious." And also sexy, she added, surely referring to the long filmy skirts that were so sheer, they left absolutely nothing to the imagination.

The skirts were long enough to prove treacherous for the models, who had to wear stiletto-heeled booties and somehow heroically avoid stepping on the skirts. There were a few stumbles, but no washouts.

Admiring Wang's creations from the front row was a high-powered group of tennis star Maria Sharapova on one side of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and gold-medal Olympic gymnast Simone Biles on the other. Biles sat next to Tony-winning Broadway star Cynthia Erivo. Across from them was film actress Chloe Sevigny.

"It's amazing that she has created this whole lifestyle brand, an empire, and I just like to come out and support powerful women in the industry," Sevigny said. "I think it's nice to do that and there aren't enough of them, so the ones that have created this world like she has should be lifted up and celebrated."

--Jocelyn Noveck

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LEGACY SHMEGACY: IT'S A BIGGER, BADDER DKNY

Dear Donna Karan, the guys have finally done it.

After taking over Karan's iconic New York-centric DKNY, designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow of Public School have broken through her legacy with a bold, street collection that screamed them and not her, shown on the elevated High Line park on the city's first crisp evening of fall.

With Teyana Taylor, Russell Westbrook, Tinashe and hip-hop's Fabolous on the front row — along with a smiling Karan herself — the duo turned the DKNY logo on its ear by hanging fringe all over its letters, with the message on some pieces: "New York is the new New York."

Osborne and Chow founded their own label in 2008, taking on DKNY the first time for last year's spring collection soon after they were hired by LVMH, which bought DKNY in 2001. Chow, for a little context, is the older of the two designers and was 11 when Karan launched her Seven Easy Pieces.

So how did they put their own stamp on the beloved label? They used transparencies to free themselves up, along with caution signal orange, little bandeau and bra tops, mesh, bike shorts and hoods, hoods, hoods in a finale that had the models — led by Bella Hadid — stomping down the center of the park created out of an old elevated rail line.

Forget the past.

Said the designers in their notes: "We like to think about what's next."

--Leanne Italie

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CALIFORNIA COOL AT TORY BURCH

It was in the whimsical and colorful moccasins, and in the batik prints and beachy dresses. Tory Burch was definitely bringing a little West Coast spirit to her usual East Coast chic.

But first, Burch's runway show Tuesday — in the chic setting of the Whitney Museum of American Art — began with some classic East Coast "hostess prep," as the designer calls it.

There was lots of kelly green and pink — as in the opening number, a pink-trimmed green cardigan with a garden-print blouse and long cotton skirt, or in a tweed checked pantsuit with a garden-print top.

There was also a preppy boating theme, in outfits like a short navy jacked paired with "Marina-print" burlap pants emblazoned with sailboats. Or a sweater covered with the word "Ahoy."

From the Connecticut yacht club to the beach towns of the California coast: Burch brought out caftans, batik prints, board shorts, macrame and those moccasins — some colored and with heels.

"It's about contrast," Burch wrote in her production notes. "Graphic motifs and engineered prints, rope and rickrack, pearls and macrame, mules and moccasins, structured and bohemian ease."

Among the front-row guests was actress Jessica Alba. As for the music, it was a rather unusual mix; from the Bee Gees to Beyonce's searing "Hold Up."

--Jocelyn Noveck

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BATHING BEAUTIES AND A DISCO DOG, AT THOM BROWNE

Every time Thom Browne puts on a fashion show, the room is buzzing with anticipation. What will fashion's ultimate showman — and a master craftsman, too — come up with this time?

On Monday afternoon, the crowd entered Browne's Chelsea gallery venue to find a brightly tiled and multi-hued space — not unlike a swimming pool, but with the water drained out. Hmm. Was this a bathing suit display?

Suddenly a gaggle of models came out in brightly colored floral cover-ups and old-fashioned, pouffy bathing caps, carrying large totes — as if out for a day at the pool. They were guided around the space by four birds — two parrots and two seagulls, to be exact — and four cats, all male models with animal heads. (It's a tribute to Browne's menswear know-how that he can make a man look hip even wearing a cat head.)

Watching over the proceedings was a figure that can only be described as a disco dog goddess. Yes, a disco dog goddess. She was dressed in shimmering silver, with a dog head on top that resembled a disco ball.

Browne later confirmed the obvious: This figure was a nod to his own beloved dog, Hector. (The real dog was somewhere on the premises, posing for photos.)

--Jocelyn Noveck

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ZAC POSEN OFFERS EDGIER LOOKS IN VIBRANT HUES

Rounding shoulders and draping backs, he put out a spring collection worthy of any fancy garden party.

His vibrant hues of red, pink, green and yellow came in edgier prints and more technical fabrics, with a bit of transparency here and a dose of glass beads there.

Posen, in a backstage interview Monday, described it as "Gracy Kelly meets Easy Rider," all inspired in part by the contemporary art he's been enjoying lately and the beds of perennials he planted for his mother.

Some of Posen's pleating billowed on his thin models, lending bulk and exaggerating areas of the body more average-size women may prefer to leave alone, the derriere among them.

But who doesn't need a go-to glitter pink paisley tulle gown?

On other Zac fronts, he's about halfway through his first cookbook, having gained a home cook rep among fans on Instagram after years of posting his culinary accomplishments. The title matches his favorite hashtag: "Cooking with Zac," and he grows a lot of his own ingredients.

A variety of cuisines will be included, "from rustic to refined," Posen said.

--Leanne Italie