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New York Fashion Week: designers seek to ease turbulent times



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Tory Burch led efforts on day two of New York Fashion Week on Friday to head off troubled times by offering an upbeat collection of bold color and geometric print. "We need that," the designer and former Hillary Clinton donor told AFP after the show, admitting herself to be inwardly "not upbeat."

"I have to compartmentalize because I care deeply about what's happening in our country but I also need to find joy in the way we live our life," Burch added. "Certainly I feel our collection is about joy and happiness. Not disregarding the sadness of what's happening around, but how do we all come together not be divisive."

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Not only has the New York design firmament been up in arms over Donald Trump, but fashion week comes as millions of Americans prepared to evacuate Florida to escape the barrelling onslaught of Hurricane Irma. Burch's inspiration came from late English interior designer David Hicks, who made carpets for Windsor Castle and once decorated for the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace, before working in New York.

Here is a look at some of the other designers who exhibited Friday:


Continuing the theme of trouble and division, young designer Matthew Adams Dolan -- best known for dressing Barbadian superstar Rihanna -- said his collection meditated "on what it has meant to be American in the past and what it will mean to be American in the future."

He blended elements of both a picturesque United States and what he called "something more sinister" beneath the polished veneer, with nods, among others to the movies "American Psycho" and "Cruel Intentions." In times of "relentless civil unrest and widening political divides," his program notes told the audience he wanted to "reimagine a modern American working wardrobe for an inclusive and celebratory generation."

Petal sleeves

Indian-born Bibhu Mohapatra, who has dressed Michelle Obama, delivered spring/summer with a Japanese-twist, wowing his loyal admirers with stunning tops and skirts named after classical Kabuki theater.

Making plentiful use of stripes, embroidery and beautiful tailoring, he showcased modest looks that clothed models neck to toe, a hint of sexiness in long, partially see-through lace sleeves.

For evening, it was all glamor with a sensational silk Mikado dress with origami petal sleeves, opening from the bust like a flower. He summed up his woman as "an intrepid spirit that craved for cultural knowledge and courageous adventure that transcended continents." (AFP)

Bibhu Mohapatra
New York Fashion Week
Tory Burch