NEW YORK (AP) -- Is it ever OK to -- gasp! -- step away from a trend? Absolutely, say some of the stylists, editors and designers gathered for New York Fashion Week.
After all, not everybody can or wants to pull on skimpy bra and cropped tops, a couple of styles popping up with some frequency by Tuesday, the sixth day of fashion week.
So who can skip a trend? Brad Goreski of Bravo's "It's a Brad, Brad World," said anybody can, if they know themselves well enough.
"Know your personal style. It all comes down to this," he told The Associated Press. "You want to challenge yourself to try different things." That, he said, means risking those "fashion fails," which is just fine, Goreski said.
Katie Holmes, while shopping the collection she showed as half of Holmes & Yang, agreed. Just maybe not so much for herself and a bra top she and Jeanne Yang created.
"I wonder if I could rock the bra top. I don't know where I think I'm wearing it to rock the bra top, but it's good to try. Maybe I'll wear it to Starbucks," Holmes said with a laugh.
Avril Graham of Harper's Bazaar said the prevalence of cutouts and bare midriffs on the runways certainly requires "a will, a swagger, some confidence." But she added:
"The wonderful thing is that there are plenty of other ideas on the runway that can work for the rest of the population."
And tricks if you can't step away from trends, Goreski said. For example, he suggested, wear a high-waist skirt or jeans with a cropped shirt for just a sliver of skin.
Adam Glassman, creative director of O The Oprah magazine, said knowing when to let a trend go is key.
"I don't think we all have to wear every trend. Some do wear the trends -- especially young people -- but you don't have to. You have to be able to say, 'That's not for me.' You have to be honest to yourself, honest to your lifestyle, honest to your body type. And it helps if you have honest friends," he said.
A sporty vibe during this round of spring previews is back -- and more forgiving than short tops that require more than a visit or two to the gym.
"It comes around every few years but it looks good, and there's a way for a lot of people to wear it," Glassman said of sport-influenced fashion.
Like the beaded floral track pants with a knit top and heels at J. Crew, or an anorak or windbreaker with a pencil skirt.
And Graham said even the young and trendy should be careful when it comes to showing off skin: "Camera angles can be very unforgiving."
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
There's nothing stuffy about the new Oscar de la Renta lady. Make that Lady, with a capital L. She likes to be dressed -- and dressed up -- because she knows it looks good.
Her navy-and-white checkered dress and cropped cape, and her white laser-cut dress make her feel like a million bucks. (No guessing on the price tag.)
The show was held Tuesday night for a small crowd. De la Renta chopped his guest list in half, saying he didn't want a side show full of people with no legitimate reason to be there.
He offered several of his signature embellishment and embroideries -- anything else would have disappointed this crowd of loyalists. He used a very light touch, though, and the clothes exuded a happy, relaxed vibe. There were off-the-shoulder peasant tops, one in white lace and another in black sheer tulle, and a fancy embroidered tunic T-shirt.
The two finale gowns were worn by Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls, an ivory strapless column gown with tiers of pearl and sequin embroidery, and a citron-yellow strapless gown with an overlay of black threadwork and sequins, respectively.
With the models flanking him on each side -- and each giving him a kiss on the cheek -- de la Renta took his bow.
Wang aimed for all As on her runway: artful, architectural and athletic.
She made the grade with silk gauze baseball jackets, chiffon gowns with mesh panels and often-beaded, racer-style backs and a stretch-mesh hoodie paired with a net bustier and stretch jersey skirt.
Many of her looks were black, which made the flashes of cobalt blue, geranium red and citron yellow more impactful. She used a painter's brush-stroke print on camisole slips and chiffon gowns to make another visual statement, and delicate fabric petals decorated the back of slim-cut sheaths.