NEW YORK (AP) -- Jenny Packham offered a runway ode to '70s glam and Bianca Jagger. Tory Burch cited inspiration from the suits of armor her family collected. And Rodarte put "Star Wars" motifs on glamorous gowns as New York Fashion Week continued Tuesday.
The city continued to shiver under a blanket of cold weather as designers offered their fall-winter collections on the sixth day of the shows held at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents at Lincoln Center and at other locations. Actresses Dakota Fanning and Anna Kendrick were among the celebrities dropping by.
STRANGE IT WAS: RODARTE CHANNELS YODA
If you were going to buy a silk charmeuse designer gown for thousands and thousands of dollars, would you want it to be emblazoned with the image of Luke Skywalker, C-3PO or Yoda?
That's just how Rodarte ended its runway show on Tuesday, with one gown devoted to each of those "Star Wars" icons. High-end fashion, or pop culture kitsch? As always, the verdict was a study in subjectivity.
Growing up in California, "Star Wars" was a "big obsession" for Rodarte designer-sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, according to Kate.
"Growing up when we did, I think that's kind of one of the huge things that really influenced our culture and I just thought it was an important thing to put in it," she added. "I also feel like those films are all about imagination ... so I felt like it was a kind of a really beautiful way to end what the collection was for us."
In a nutshell, the sisters said, the collection was about childhood nostalgia.
"It's kind of all our memories coming together in something that's expressive," Kate said. "So it wasn't about a specific place, 'cause I think memory is so disjunctive. It was more about kind of piecing together the things that we wanted to build this world out of."
Another Rodarte garment destined to result in seriously divided opinions: the shoulder-less coat, which is exactly what it sounds like -- coats with cutouts where the shoulders would be. It came in gray and black wool, but also in fuchsia glitter. There was also a "death star" gown in black.
On the subtler side, there were some truly lovely striped lace gowns in appealing colors, demonstrating the Mulleavys' talent for craftsmanship.
Rodarte perennial fan Dakota Fanning was in the audience. "I thought it was amazing ... I'm happy for Kate and Laura," she said.
--Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP
BADGLEY MISCHKA: OPULENT GOWNS, LIGHT AS A FEATHER
Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka sent sparkly sparkly gold gowns and floral blue brocades down the runway Tuesday with warm fur hats and cozy tweeds in a mix of red-carpet dazzle and clothes for everyday wear.
"We gold-washed the fabrics, we took tweeds and bronzed them," Badgley said. The evening gowns, he added, are "weightless, they weigh just literally ounces but the fabrics are extremely rich and opulent."
A silk brocade was light as a feather, "but we cut big voluminous shapes in it," he said. "We usually do things close to the body, but our fabrics were so light this season, it allowed us to cut big flowy silhouettes with a lot of sweep, which was fun for a change."
At the show was actress Katrina Bowden of "30 Rock," who said said the pair "make such beautiful dresses that have really lovely shapes for women, and they also make some really cool edgy styles as well, and also some very normal wearable styles."
Badgley said backstage that they love the variety of women they dress, including the "new young ingenue that's completely hysterical and doesn't know what she wants to look like."
--Leanne Italie, http://twitter.com/litalie
QUICKQUOTE: Elie Tahari
"It's so difficult, this industry. Make sure you're working with truth and love and enjoy what you do. Have passion for the fashion because fashion is compassion." -- Designer Elie Tahari, asked at his New York Fashion Week presentation Tuesday how he perseveres after 40 years in the business.
TORY BURCH INSPIRED BY SUITS OF ARMOR AND MEDIEVAL TAPESTRY
How's this for an original fashion show theme? Tory Burch says both her parents and her grandparents collected suits of armor when she was a child.
And so she was inspired to create a line of clothing inspired by armor, but to make it light enough -- in both the actual and atmospheric senses of the word -- for women's clothing.
What resulted was an appealing and unified collection, one that reflected her stated theme in virtually every piece, but still felt highly wearable. This was one of those shows where the clothes actually seemed destined for the department store, rather than a theatrical stage or an art museum.