Street vibe at True Religion, crinkled linen at Altuzarra

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press is all over New York Fashion Week, from the runways to celebrities as eight days of spring previews entered their third day Saturday. ___ NBA STAR OFFERS STREET…

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press is all over New York Fashion Week, from the runways to celebrities as eight days of spring previews entered their third day Saturday.



Attention fellas: NBA star and fashion trendsetter Russell Westbrook wants to help you get dressed for the holidays.

The 26-year-old, who was named campaign creative director for True Religion, previewed items from the brand’s Men’s Holiday 2015 campaign Saturday during New York Fashion Week.

“It’s a blessing. I think when you get that title of being creative director some people take it for granted, and people in the fashion world truly understand what that means and for me that’s a huge step, and something I’m trying to do in the long run,” Westbrook said in an interview at the True Religion store in the Soho district of Manhattan.

Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder player who launched a line at Barney’s last year, said at True Religion, “my job is to come in with some more street style, different things that I see on a day-to-day basis from my peers.”

In comparison to his Westbrook-XO-Barneys New York collection, Westbrook says the True collection is “more me coming up and kind of doing my own thing.”

Pieces from the line included a trendy leather jacket, washed out denim shirts and oversized T-shirts.

Fans stood outside the New York store waiting for the celebrity — who has attended shows during Fashion Week — and cheered once he arrived. Outside of sports, Westbrook’s colorful style has made headlines, and he’s become a staple on the fashion scene, visiting fashion week in Paris and Milan.

“Growing up, I would never think I would be doing anything like this, in a store like this, so it’s a blessing to be able to see all different kids and parents and everybody here — so it’s good,” he said.

Westbrook is also celebrating in his personal life: He married his college sweetheart last month.

“It’s a great, major experience. Still living that moment, so it’s still great,” he said, smiling excitedly.

—Mesfin Fekadu



Joseph Altuzarra decided to go back to his Basque roots for his new spring collection, conveying a casual, sun-kissed, beach-ready feel with lots of linen, lots of white, some shiny mother-of-pearl, and espadrilles for the feet.

Altuzarra showed his wares late Saturday at a packed runway show in downtown Manhattan with actresses Anna Kendrick and Michelle Monaghan in attendance, as well as Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Explaining that he was “inspired by the inherent beauty of the materials and crafts of the region, and the ease and humility it exuded,” Altuzarra clearly favored a lived-in look, with wrinkled linen dresses and tops. Besides white, colors included a summery orange, a royal blue and a deep green, which worked beautifully on a hand-dyed crepe de chine asymmetrical dress.

For some sparkle, the designer added dresses and tops embroidered with mother-of-pearl, and his fancier dresses featured beading and colorful embroidery. And for those times when something heavier is called for, his tobacco-colored alligator wrap vest and wrap coat were clear highlights of the show.

Kendrick, who’s in New York on her way to the Toronto International Film Festival, pronounced herself a new Altuzarra fan.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said the “Pitch Perfect” star. “Some of his blazers were absolutely stunning. I feel that I never really get to wear runway pieces that are casual because when I am wearing a designer piece, I’m usually on a red carpet. But I am hoping to find an excuse to wear some of those from today, because they were absolutely gorgeous.”

—Jocelyn Noveck



On a dystopian set with One World Trade Center beaming its blue light into the night sky this Sept. 11, Givenchy took Manhattan on a pier before a star-studded crowd, remembering tragedy and celebrating fashion at the same time.

Riccardo Tisci, the French fashion house’s creative director, worked with performance artist Marina Abramovic on the storied brand’s first New York City show, constructing a Waterworld-esque set of walls out of recycled metal and wood scraps and seating his huge crowd on stacked wood pallets and benches as models walked in looks of mostly black and white.

There was lace, there were sheers and there were tuxedo jackets for both men and women.

Givenchy chose New York Fashion Week rather than its usual Paris this season to mark the opening of its new store in the city, along Madison Avenue where it last lived in the city in 2006.

Fan Kim Kardashian, who showed off her baby bump in sheer black, was in the audience with husband Kanye West. They were joined, among others, by Julia Roberts in a T-shirt adorned with Tisci’s face, Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie and Nicki Minaj, who was in a body-hugging animal print dress. Also there were athletes Amar’e Stoudemire, Victor Cruz and Russell Westbrook (showing his own fashion line this season), and father-daughter Steven and Liv Tyler.

Among the models were Kim’s little sis Kendall Jenner.

Models navigated the winding, open-air runway in treacherous heeled mules, including several steps up and down stacked wood pallets. Two toppled as they navigated this world, described in show notes by Abramovic as an event “about forgiveness, inclusivity, new life, hope, and above all, love.”

—Leanne Italie



Fashion designers Levi and Reuben Uwi, survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, said they looked to Africa for inspiration for their latest collection, which debuted Friday at New York Fashion Week.

The brothers, 27 and known as The Uwi Twins, unveiled “I Left My Heart In Africa!” at Gotham Hall and said they returned to the continent after 17 years to design their clean and simplistic ready-to-wear 2016 spring-summer collection.

“It was a huge contrast from the last time we were there. We were very fortunate enough to be in a position where we had a lot of opportunities ahead of us and so, when we were designing the collection, we definitely felt very blessed and very humbled,” Levi said backstage after the presentation.

The brothers relocated to Vancouver, Canada, after escaping Rwanda.

They kicked off the fashion show Friday with traditional African dancers working the runway and two drummers playing lively and loudly. Models confidently wore trendy designs that ranged from fitted black and white T-shirts to bright pink shorts to semi-loose blazers. The highlights: a soft pink blazer paired with pink shorts with large black lines on each side, and a black and white shirt with a splash on pink over the shoulders.

Some models wore shirts with the twins’ faces as kids blended with the year 1987, when Levi and Reuben were born.

Their overall goal is to give young artists opportunities to live out their dreams — like they have done.

“This brand is about inspiring the underdog and with this collection, yeah it is inspired by Africa, but it’s also for anyone who feels like they’re down,” Reuben said. “Look at us — we’ve been down multiple times. You can get back up.”

—Mesfin Fekadu



The designer put on a show of drama inspired by the imperial cities of Morocco with no set at all.

His usual space with a stark concrete floor was left alone to let his spring/summer collection stand under the lights as he rolled out crisp, elegant looks featuring sandy cream and khaki for day, with blush and sunset tones for evening.

“I was drawn to the culture and lifestyle of Morocco, particularly the annual traditional of Feast of the Throne celebration in Marrakesh, for which notables dress head to toe in beautifully draped linens,” Siriano said in his notes.

He also drew inspiration from natural elements of the country and such things as the colors in Moroccan wedding blankets, along with the lattice details of its architecture, particularly mosques.

“I’ve never been, so I wanted it to be my dream and fantasy of what it would be like through my idea of this woman traveling to Morocco,” Siriano said Saturday in a backstage interview before the show. “So she’s dressed for packing and traveling and figuring out what to bring, and then she’s there in Fez or Marrakech.”

Siriano included touches of royal gold with metallic lattice laser cuts and organza, and layers of cascading tulle. Fringe danced under the bright lights on flouncy skirts and dresses.

While trying to appeal to the younger downtown crowd, Siriano can’t lose the older, elegant woman who dresses grandly for evening, “because she’s the one who pays the bills,” he said. “But we can do both, I think.”

—Leanne Italie