NEW YORK (AP) -- Handcrafted in New York was the theme of Nanette Lepore's show Wednesday, while Michael Kors got his audience California Dreamin' on a winter's day.
Lepore, Kors and other designers including Betsey Johnson and Reed Krakoff presented fall-winter collections on the seventh day of New York Fashion Week. Celebrity drop-ins included Michael Douglas and Katie Holmes.
The shows have been taking place both at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents at Lincoln Center and at other locations around the city, as bone-chilling weather persisted and a winter storm was forecast for Thursday.
MICHAEL KORS: CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'
Michael Kors' fall collection was inspired by the left coast, and it was hard not to think that the Mamas and the Papas, featured on the soundtrack, were absolutely right when they sang: "I'd be safe and warm if I was in LA."
But alas, all the guests at the show were bundled up for winter and gearing for Thursday's predicted storm, which threatened to wreak havoc on the final day of Fashion Week.
At least they had some A-list celebrities to look at: Michael Douglas, Blake Lively, Rose Byrne and Freida Pinto all came to pay their respects to one of the most successful designers in the business.
And they had the clothes to look at: Big, soft sweaters of every kind, and lots of wool, cashmere, alpaca, shearling, mohair, flannel and fur.
In a pre-show interview, Kors described his collection as "a hybrid -- a little bit of the kind of easiness that you find in northern California in places like Big Sur where you just kind of ... unplug, mixed with something that's very polished and urbane and very big city."
Kors said he was designing for active, every day wear rather than special occasions. "You know nothing bothers me more than someone buying something magnificent and someone wearing it once," he said.
Kors is popular on the red carpet and had high praise for Sandra Bullock, nominated for "Gravity."
"Sandra Bullock, my God, bravo, hello! You know I think between Sandra and Mrs. Obama they've convinced every woman that life in fashion is definitely not over once you pass 45."
--Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP
NANETTE LEPORE: A BOHEMIAN VIBE, MADE IN NEW YORK
Nanette Lepore, known for a bohemian vibe and youthful feminine designs, sent out sheer beaded tops, shaggy-collared alpaca coats with girlie geometric prints and dresses and flouncy skirts done in Bordeaux red, violet and a smoky rose.
She used netting to expose some skin in tops and dresses, and flannel for jackets and pants, along with a belted poncho and skirt. An alpaca turtleneck was paired with a trouser suit, and she used a black shag collar in a look featuring an embroidered strapless dress worn with a knit parka. There were a few asymmetrical below-the-knee hems.
Lepore's pop of color came in a bright violet shearling coat worn with a handloom print dress. Some of her coats included zip pockets on sleeves. Sleeves were leather on one hooded flannel coat.
Lepore has received some attention in recent months for her commitment to New York's garment industry. Chirlane McCray, the wife of New York's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, wore a Lepore outfit to her husband's inauguration in January, as did their daughter.
--Leanne Italie, http://www.twitter.com/litalie
BETSEY JOHNSON'S HOT COLLECTION: MESH, MINIS AND BARELY THERE DRESSES
If the racy clothes at Betsey Johnson's runway show weren't enough to cause temperatures to rise, the designer added a surefire sizzle -- two hunks (barely) dressed as firefighters.
The beefcake -- complete with fake fire hoses -- went with the theme of the "Hot" collection. For Johnson, being hot equates with mesh dresses paired only with bright underwear, mini-dresses, shirt dresses that barely covered one's assets, and lots and lots and lots of sequins.
Celebs such as Paris Hilton, Wendy Williams, and Zendaya Coleman were there to take it all in.
"This is the best (expletive) I've ever designed. This is my favorite, favorite stuff," Johnson said in an interview before the show began.
The brightly colored clothes seemed inspired by the late '70s-early '80s disco era, from the thigh-high multicolored socks paired with tight miniskirts to the shaggy faux fur coats, jumpsuits and sexy boots. Most of the models paired the outfits with Johnson's equally colorful bags, and there were eye-catching patterns, including a yellow shirt adorned with images of handguns.
"We see lots of sequins, shiny stretched satins, I don't know -- fluorescent colors, gold-foiled velvets and just everything a Rockette has ever worn," she added (though it would be hard to imagine the Rockettes wearing any of these outfits for their family friendly shows).