Fashion looks to spring by Patrice Worthy ; Indiana Daily Student
Published Monday, September 15, 2003

NEW YORK -- This year marks the 10th anniversary of 7th on Sixth, an organization originally formed in 1993 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America to organize, centralize and modernize the New York collections. It has become one of the city's marquee events, attracting thousands. Fashion industry leaders, the worldwide press, buyers, celebrities and politicians make up the mix, and it generates an estimated $253 million for the city's economy each year.

This year, 66 designers will present their spring collections from Sept. 12 to 17, and many are making their debut under the tents at Bryant Park. Collections like BodyGear Activewear and Bahar Korcan are showing their creations for the first time at this year's Fashion Week. The popularity of the event has created so much hype that hundreds of people are being denied entrance to many of the most talked-about shows. Baby Phat, Rosa Cha by Amir Slama and Fusha lines were so long their shows were standing room only. In February, the less-than-booming economy didn't add to the already downtrodden mood surrounding the shows. But this season, things are different. A-list celebrities are dominating the red carpet, and designers are supporting others designers by attending shows.

BodyGear Activewear

This show was one of the most surprising in the Fashion Week so far. Many expected the show to display Lycra and workout clothes, but it was the opposite. The show featured colorful swimwear for men and women. Both male and female models wore turquoise bikini-style suits with red trim. All the bikinis had ties in this collection, creating a unique uniformity. The halter-style bikini tops tied in the back, and the mens' bikinis tied on one side. Designer Christian Urquijo played off the use of trim, using white trim with black and grey bikinis. He also used sheer panels on each side in the men's bikinis.

"Men should be more comfortable with themselves," Urquijo said. "I want to break men away from the preppy stereotype and give them the freewill to express themselves."

The show featured a large array of knits: Urquijo didn't stop with knit bikinis for men and women. He introduced gold sheer knit outfits and multicolored knit halter tops with skirts.

At the same time, Urquijo used such traditional material as denim to underline his modern style. The jeans have a wide leg, but drape the body like well-made slacks, hiding the disadvantaged areas and highlighting the wearer's best features. One pair of jeans had leather fringe on the bottom, while another pair exposed seams all the way down the leg.

"My motivation was that sexy and classy work well together," Urquijo said.

Fusha

Fusha, wife of Wyclef Jean, was the talk of last season with her elegant but lively collection. This year she kept the same bright color palette, but with less zest. The collection was inspired by tropical flora and fauna: The dresses were red, bright pink, yellow, and green. Sequins dominated the shorts and tight skirts, along with sequined trim dressed in yellow and pink. But the focal point of the show were the beautiful blood red chiffon ball gowns. 

"I like the red chiffon, and the dresses. The show was hot," Tyson Beckford said.

One of the highlights of the show was a full length black and white pinstriped dress, which was belted across the top, and came down in full skirt at mid-calf. The last dress in Saturday's presentation was a bright pink bridal gown with pink sequins on the bodice and a detachable skirt that revealed pink shorts.The model wore a 1920's-style silver beaded headpiece with strings of beads that came down to the shoulder.

Designers and celebrities reveled in the spirit of goodwill and applauded each other's success at the shows. Among the guest list at Fusha's show were Wyclef Jean, Damien Dash, Russell Simmons, Betsey Johnson, Jay-Z , Cuba Gooding Jr., and Tyson Beckford.

Tracy Reese

The Tracy Reese collection featured a feminine spirit of breathless spring.

The collection looked like a mix of 1930's lingerie and English tea time. The color scheme was yellow, pale blue, lavender, peach, white, beige and black. The collection included panel skirts that angled in the back, floral print coats with lace trim over flirty dresses and flowing dresses with silver beads over floral slips. Reese paired flowing shirts with yellow and blue straight-leg trousers. Her beautiful collection included 1930's style shirts that stopped at the hips and tied on the side. Models also presented chenille skirts in black and red and floral print trench coats.

"I was inspired by life and the idea of spring coming," Reese said. "When spring comes, it's emotional because it's a rebirth."

Monday's shows include Carolina Herrera, Oscar De La Renta, Betsey Johnson and BCBG Max Azaria.

-- Contact staff writer Patrice Worthy at [email protected].

Patrice Worthy

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