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Warm clothes for freezing city at New York Fashion Week



NEW YORK (AP) - It was once again winter - cold, cold winter - that dominated the mood on the fifth day of New York Fashion Week, with designers presenting variations of warm clothes on a particularly freezing day.

Carolina Herrera, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's The Row, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Thom Browne and Zac Posen were among the designers presenting their fall-winter collections on Monday.

Shows were being held at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents at Lincoln Center and at various locations throughout the city.

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TOMMY HILFIGER PRESENTS RUSTIC SCENE (DON'T STEP ON THE MULCH, PLEASE)

Tommy Hilfiger's show for fall 2014 on Monday presented a much more idyllic version of the arctic conditions that have defined New York Fashion Week.

Held inside the cavernous Park Avenue Armory, Hilfiger's backdrop for his collection was, like the city, a wintry one. But instead of urban slush, he provided a scene that was snowy and rustic. A log cabin and skis sat in the background, while fir trees, boulders and fake snow mixed with mulch adorned the area around the wooden runway. ("Don't step on the mulch, please," a security guard warned guests.)

The clothes fit the chilly ambience: There were plenty of parkas, cozy sweaters and much faux fur. Plaid was a recurring pattern, featured on wool skirts of varying lengths and long mohair dresses. There were also lots of fringes, on sweaters, skirts and dresses. The colors were muted; dark blues, grays, maroon, black and cream, either alone or as a pattern, dominated the hues. Most of the models wore toasty knit caps to top off their outfits.

The collection was described by Hilfiger as having an "adventure-ready spirit."

- Nekesa Mumbi Moody, -http://www.twitter.com/nekesamumbi

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ASHLEY AND MARY-KATE OLSEN PRESENT MINIMALIST BUT LUXURIOUS WINTER WEAR ON A FRIGID DAY

A frigid, brutal wind was whipping off the nearby Hudson River as one approached the unassuming building in Manhattan's West Village where Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen base their high-end fashion label, The Row.

Inside, though, waiters were offering cups of hot tea to the select crowd invited to inspect the sisters' fall 2014 collection on Monday. And luckily, the clothes were even warmer and more inviting.

The display, in a quiet room carpeted in white, began with huge, thick sweaters in luxurious "fur cashmere." One of them, particularly apt for the current weather, had a huge oversized neck that one could sink into. One coat had a collar that covered half of the face.

There were jackets of various lengths, some tailored and others extremely loose, with huge lapels. There were poncho-like garments in felt cashmere and turtlenecks of cashmere silk. And there were capes, one in wool, and a lighter, shinier one in silk satin.

In keeping with The Row's minimalist style, almost all the ensembles were in a single color: gray, black or white, with a few items in a rust color. Although the emphasis was on jackets, sweaters and pants, a few delicate dresses added a lighter element.

Note to other designers: The Olsen sisters are being very kind to women's feet. Their models wore men's-style derby shoes, and at least one observer was heard to remark upon leaving, "I want those shoes now!" (Probably to get to the next fashion show, likely miles away.)

Mary-Kate Olsen explained after the show that she and her sister formulated their collection by focusing on shapes. "We worked with rectangles, circles, lines - it was all about the shapes this season," she said. "And the techniques. We used similar fabrics as in the past, but we treated them differently."

The Olsens, childhood TV stars, have serious cred in the fashion world: They are winners of the 2012 Council of Fashion Designers of America award as the top womenswear designers.

- Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP

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GEOMETRIC PRINTS, LUXE FABRIC AT CAROLINA HERRERA

A collection, says Carolina Herrera, should be a collection, not a potpourri.

"Sometimes the potpourris are fun to look at, but it doesn't make sense for me," said Herrera, a grande dame of New York Fashion Week, after her cohesive show Monday of luxe coats, fur and bold geometric prints.

More than 30 years after her first runway show, which featured the supermodel Iman, Herrera manages new approaches. This time, her emphasis was daywear for elegant ladies, especially those not afraid of abstract prints, statement earrings and prints.

She also rounded the shoulders on jackets and narrowed the silhouettes of some dresses in a color palette that ranged from black in boiled wool to fiery red silk that fluttered down the runway. Some of her models wore high fez-like hats in rich blue and brown, while others - including Karlie Kloss - had tight, high updos.

She used fur as an accent on some jackets to show off their shape, while going full-on fur elsewhere, including a burnished copper sleeveless top with a wide collar paired with a full skirt to the ground.

-Leanne Italie, http://twitter.com/litalie

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OPENING CEREMONY DESIGNERS HAVE A CHOCOLATE WALL

It was difficult to pay attention to the clothes as chocolate oozed down a massive white wall throughout the Sunday- night runway show for the design house Opening Ceremony.

Inspired by a trip to Belgium, designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim wanted their fall-winter presentation to be a treat for the senses.

Many attendees couldn't stop themselves from dipping their fingers in the chocolate oozing down the walls.

"My mind is blown," said Joe Jonas as he realized what was happening.

"It does smell like something is baking," said singer Kelly Rowland, a judge on "The X Factor," which recently ended its final season, as she sat in the front row. "That might be a problem. I might have to contain myself. I'm a chocolate fiend!"

Luckily she didn't have to wait too long for a fix, as mugs of hot chocolate were handed to guests as they left the building.

Male models were layered up with turtlenecks and thick wool coats worn over quilted, knee-length shirts, perfect for the snowy weather outside the downtown venue.

Standouts from the women's collection included flowing skirts with extreme, asymmetrical hemlines, some featuring cutouts around the knees. There was also a playful, sequined pink-and-purple dot pattern found on tops, skirts and the final look - a long-sleeve peplum paired with simple, black trousers.

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