NY Fashion Week: Carrie Underwood, fur, feathers

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer Carrie Underwood and "Pitch Perfect" star Anna Kendrick were among a slew of young celebrities who popped up at Rebecca Minkoff's show Friday during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. It was Underwood's second show of the day as she'd earlier made an appearance at Peter Som's show.

Underwood said she loves fashion shows, but doesn't have much time to attend them. "I just thought I'd come in for the day and go along for the ride," she said.

Meanwhile fall-winter collections included feathers at Nicole Miller and fur on many runways, with designers claiming muses ranging from North Face parkas to Jane Birkin's Swingin' '60s peacoats.



Hot cider, hot chocolate and mini doughnuts, fried on the spot, plus a Jonas brother and a supermodel. That's what awaited the crowd at Rag & Bone's runway show Friday, in the chilly, cavernous space of a now-defunct section of Manhattan's main post office.

Joe Jonas sat in the front row, on assignment for New York Magazine's fashion site, The Cut. "They asked me to give my opinions on what I like and stuff, so it's been a lot of fun," he said.

Rag & Bone has become a top fashion label — with its runway show a must-see every season — because of its distinctive style of casual chic.

In the words of supermodel Karolina Kurkova, who came to the show not to walk the runway but simply to watch: "Rag & Bone is great for running around, but (also) having a little bit of style — being comfortable, being cool, but you know still having a little bit of modern action."

Designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville described the inspiration for this latest collection as an eclectic mix of eras and styles.

"There's quite a strong '50s silhouette going on with the high-waisted pants, short tops," Wainwright said in an interview. "But also there's an '80s English feel."

The fabrics were rich, as in a buffalo-check mohair coat or a casual jacket in satin crepe. Echoing the '50s theme, there were bowling shirts — albeit in lush fabrics — embroidered with the model's name in the corner. In addition to black and other dark colors, there were shocks of red: a bright red suede dress, for example, or a pair of slouchy red boots with a drawstring top.

—Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP and Nicole Evatt, http://www.twitter.com/NicoleEvat t.



If you ever needed proof that designer Rebecca Minkoff is much loved by young women, you had only to look at the celebrities sprinkled in the audience at her runway show Friday.

There was Carrie Underwood, the country superstar. There were movie actresses Anna Kendrick and AnnaSophia Robb, and TV actress Zosia Mamet from HBO's "Girls." There was Victoria Justice, of Nickelodeon's "Victorious," and from the teenage set, Bella Thorne, best known for the Disney Channel's "Shake it Up."

They all came to see what Minkoff reliably delivers: a casual, upbeat collection of mixed patterns and textures, with some killer shoes and bags. Not to mention another hallmark of Minkoff shows: live music. This time the performers were AlunaGeorge, a British electronic music duo.

The show opened with a luscious-looking shearling coat in oatmeal. Attention soon was drawn to the models' feet, with Minkoff introducing a series of cute, two-toned leather booties with colored tassels. Some of the footwear had stiletto heels, and some had chunkier heels. There was an eye-catching pair of over-the-knee boots.

Minkoff mixed soft with strong and light with heavy, as in a chiffon skirt under a big overcoat.

"I've worn Rebecca for a really long time," said Kendrick, star of "Pitch Perfect." ''She does such beautiful shapes. They're all kind of edgy, you know? But she (also) does these kind of feminine shapes. I'm wearing this kind of feminine dress, but there is a tough bag and a tough shoe, you know?"

—Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP and Nicole Evatt, http://www.twitter.com/NicoleEvatt



Jason Wu says the weather is on his mind. Maybe that's why his clothes have a moody feel this Fashion Week.

His colors were muted; black, eggplant, evergreen and silver. There were mixes of textures, with embroidered gowns and shiny slip dresses — some with tiny spaghetti straps — among the most successful pieces. Coats were big and boxy; it felt like you could disappear into them.

"I was going for something darkly romantic, something quite, you know, very cozy," Wu said backstage at the show Friday. "There is something very cozy about this outerwear."

Wu used the term "unflustered beauty" to describe his collection.

"I kind of woke up with those two words," said the designer, who became famous when Michelle Obama chose him for her inaugural gowns — twice. "Those are good words for the collection because underneath the really luxurious furs and cashmeres come slip dresses that are held together by spaghetti straps made from the most luxurious fabrics, that move around the body."

As for the weather, he said: "It's very cold and it's about taking those sporty elements, as always those American sportswear elements, gone luxe. You know, very North Face-inspired, in the parkas, the furs, and then (you) really elevate it. Elevated sportswear."

—Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP



Despite the winter weather here, Underwood popped into Peter Som's runway show Friday in a summery pale pink dress — actually by designer Ted Baker.

On the runway, Som showed an appealing mix of smartly tailored coats and interesting graphics on dresses short and long.

The most interesting print: a pretty blurred floral that could make you feel a little dizzy.

"I love florals," Som said. "These are all roses. I was trying to give things a bit of mystery."

Also attractive were Som's tailored short coats. He said they were inspired by looking at photos of "Jane Birkin and her peacoats." Birkin, an English actress and singer, first became known for her free-spirited style in the 1960s.

As for Underwood, she said she is writing for a new album. She doesn't have any immediate plans to do another televised musical like "The Sound of Music," which she starred in last year.

"I'm excited to get back to the things that I know!" she said.

—Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP



Red-carpet designer Carmen Marc Valvo has been dressing the rich and famous for decades, including Queen Latifah and other notables with curves.

Does that make him a rarity? "I think the Europeans are more at fault," said one of the nicest guys in fashion in a backstage interview before his New York Fashion Week show Friday.

"The Americans are larger than the Europeans. They just are, so I do embrace that. I think a woman should be sexy and just be who she is."

This time around, Valvo turned out a woman warrior in armor-looking gowns, down to the ground, some with chain-link accents and metal beads inspired by a recent trip to Turkey.

There's a certain life cycle when you've been in the business as long as Valvo, who's 60.

"Who's my customer? I grew up with some of them," he said. "I made their wedding gowns and now I'm dressing their daughters."

—Leanne Italie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie



Sure it's winter, but summer is year-round on the Instagram feed of Terry Miller in itsy bitsy bathing trunks designed by Mr. Turk.

We caught up with Mr. Turk, aka stylist and photographer Jonathan Skow, aka the husband of designer Trina Turk, at their mixed men's and women's New York Fashion Week presentation for fall Friday.

The coats and sweaters, skirts and trousers on the models were inspired by a drive west on Sunset Boulevard through Los Angeles to the sea, which is where the tiny guy swim gear by Mr. Turk comes in.

Swimsuits weren't part of the show, but Skow was happy to share his chance encounter about two years ago with Miller, aka the hunky husband of gay activist and writer Dan Savage — and the fact that Miller's rockin' hard body on Instagram has produced a bump in business for Mr. Turk.

With Savage, Miller co-founded the It Gets Better anti-bullying project, putting up the first video on YouTube.

Skow and Miller met in Palm Springs, Calif., where there's a Mr. Turk boutique. Miller was a shopper there.

"I didn't even really know who he was, and then Dan took some pictures of him and posted them on Instagram and tagged me and we started seeing that suit selling online," Skow explained.

The suit in question is the Mr. Turk Lagos swim brief — make that very brief. Soon Miller, who had spent years at home raising the now-teen son he adopted with Savage, had a growing Instagram following. "He's just a friend of mine," Skow laughs. "I pay him in clothes. I say whatever you want I'll send you as long as you Instagram it."

—Leanne Italie, http://twitter.com/litalie



Ralph Lauren's runway show in New York won't take place until next week. But his work was on display a world away in Sochi Friday, with Team USA outfitted for the Olympics opening ceremonies in his red, white and blue designs, including sweaters bearing stars, stripes, a flag and Olympic rings.

Meanwhile skier Lindsey Vonn, the 2010 Olympic gold medalist, and figure skater Sasha Cohen, also an Olympian, helped kick off the fashion shows in New York by attending the Red Dress Collection Thursday night, an annual Fashion Week event that draws attention to heart disease.

Vonn, who had to skip the Sochi games due to a knee injury, raised her crutches in the air triumphantly at Red Dress and got the same kind of cheers she might have gotten after a victorious ski run.

Vonn joined some 20 other female celebrities on the runway at the Red Dress Collection event, all helping get the word out about heart disease to younger women. They included Bella Thorne, 16, best known from the Disney Channel series "Shake It Up," wearing Badgley Mischka; Victoria Justice, 20, best known for starring in the Nickelodeon TV series "Victorious," wearing Oscar de la Renta; and actress AnnaSophia Robb, 20, in an Alice + Olivia strapless gown.

—Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP



The feathers were flying at Nicole Miller's Fashion Week show — on vests, fur skirts and mixed with mirrors, leather and beads.

And they included peacock feathers hanging from a sweatshirt and dress.

The usually edgy Miller was heavy on the black, studs and neoprene. She sent out prints she described in her notes as "tribal tree" and "force field."

Actress-model-business mogul Daisy Fuentes was on the front row, along with True Blood's Carrie Preston.

—Leanne Italie, http://twitter.com/litalie