French fashion house Lacoste presents spring collection

NEW YORK, Sept 7, 2008 (AFP) -French fashion house Lacoste presented its 2009 spring collection aimed at the well-heeled young as Tropical Storm Hanna doused the city with heavy rain.



New York authorities warned Friday evening of the risk of high winds and downpours on the second day of Fashion Week that continues through next week, showcasing about 100 designers including such names as Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein and Gave Karan.

Friday evening, American Erin Fetherston who installed herself in New York two years ago after studying fashion in Paris unveiled her creations for spring-summer 2009 on ultra-thin models, despite industry promises to turn its back on the anorexic look.

The Lacoste show on Saturday sent out models in ethereal pastels and sequinned bustiers that looked pearly under the spotlights.

Fascinated by the light of Paris and New York, the designer wanted to evoke clouds reflected in the Seine and the Hudson Rivers.

If the first half of the Lacoste show was romantic, with lanky beauties with their long blond hair pinned up, in flowing beige skirts split over shorts, the second half had more bite.

The runway was invaded by arrogant models in catsuits or shorts with hoods in aggressive reds, oranges, yellows and apple green, as if the house's crocodile logo was prepared to use its jaws to conquer a bigger share of the wealthy 18-21 market.

Present at the show and all the surrounding parties this week was 19-year-old Peaches Geldof, daughter of musician and charitable event organizer Bob Geldof, who symbolizes a generation of young rich who live off the money made by their dads or moms.

Heroines of the television series "Gossip Girl," high-society girls are increasingly the inspiration and target customers of fashion designers.

It was not unusual to hear girls seated in the audience saying into their cellphones, "Yes dad, I am at Bryant Park, and where are you?"

New York Fashion Week will maintain its high-energy pace of around a dozen catwalk presentations a day until September 12.

On Sunday, US fashion heavyweights Donna Karan and Diane von Furstenberg were scheduled to present their creations.

After days spent eyeing or pounding the catwalks in the park, fashionistas can retire to one of many soirees organized around New York.

On the eve of Fashion Week, Christie's, the auction house, held one such function in its sprawling ground floor viewing hall.

Guests, including top model Agyness Deyn, sipped champagne and sparkling water at an evening exhibit of vintage clothing by Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne, which will go under the hammer at Christie's London next month.

Blocks away in the gallery-rich Chelsea neighborhood, a party thrown by Mini Cooper -- the trendy British car -- on a terrace overlooking the Hudson River was overflowing and unable to accommodate all its would-be guests.

"Don't worry, it's New York. Walk a few blocks and you will find another party," New York magazine advised those who were turned away.

"Be confident, dress appropriately, pair up with someone who knows someone and bring business cards. It can work," wrote the magazine, which has compiled a list of all the happenings in New York's five boroughs to fete the must-have shoes and flimsy frocks everyone will be clamoring for next spring.by Paola Messana

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