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Runway Collections Inspired By Vibes From '60s And '70s


Models, bloggers and editors are running a high-fashion circuit over the next few weeks. Many are in Europe for fashion weeks in London and Milan. They're arriving just days after the fashion week tents went down in New York City. Our colleague Renee Montagne, always fashionably dressed, took a few steps down the runway with the editor-in-chief of T, The New York Times Style Magazine.

RENEE MONTAGNE, BYLINE: Deborah Needleman, good morning.


MONTAGNE: New York Fashion Week is where the big American brands show clothes that we will see in stores later this year. Designers, including Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan, shared their collections among others. Let's begin with some of your favorite looks and trends in New York.

NEEDLEMAN: One thing is there has been a lot of '60s and '70s references. Calvin Klein did an amazing job of that this year with long patchwork, leather coats, thigh-high boots. It had a mod feeling to it. And there was a sort of Catherine Deneuve and Belle de Jour kind of slip-on, low-stacked heel. And Tommy Hilfiger also had a very sort of collegiate '70s vibe to his collection with checked, flared pants in patterns that looked a bit like some unfortunate sofas that I remember from the '70s...

MONTAGNE: (Laughter).

NEEDLEMAN: ...But that, done in his hands, looked great and appealing.

MONTAGNE: But I have to say, thigh-high boots and the Belle de Jour look might not actually translate that well for a lot of consumers, even young women who have careers and jobs they're going to.

NEEDLEMAN: It's not the most practical, although there's a lot more latitude in how people can dress for work. You know, we're very passed the power-suit era.

MONTAGNE: Thank goodness. Also, one of fashion's most celebrated designers names, Oscar de la Renta...


MONTAGNE: ...He passed away this past fall. Taking his place as creative director is Peter Copping, who debuted his first collection. So curious how that was received.

NEEDLEMAN: I mean, Oscar is a legend in the

American design field and is known really for dressing the creme de la creme of society and known for these incredible ball gowns. Oscar de la Renta hand-picked Peter Copping as his successor, and I think it was announced probably about a week before Oscar died. And Peter wrote a beautiful note that was on everyone's seat at the show, saying that he had really hoped to work with Oscar. And I think what Peter Copping did was very respectful, very ladylike, very beautiful but also lighter, younger and a little bit cooler. So the tweeds weren't matching; the lengths were shorter, dresses were a bit shearer. He was sort of mixing things up a little bit, but really in the vernacular of Oscar's work, if that makes any sense.

MONTAGNE: It does, indeed. Let me just have you look forward a little bit. We're in the midst of London Fashion Week. Then there's Milan and Paris. How are these different weeks identified?

NEEDLEMAN: New York is really focused on daywear and sportswear. London is a bit more experimental. The sort of cliche or stereotype about Milan is that it's big business. These are - you know, it's Dolce & Gabbana, Armani - big, established, moneymaking houses. And Paris is really still the home of refined ideas, and the thinking is that that's where the ideas are really born that push the rest of the system forward.

MONTAGNE: That is Deborah Needleman. She is editor-in-chief of T, The New York Times Style Magazine. Thanks very much for talking with us.

NEEDLEMAN: Thanks for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.