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Sep 9, 2008
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Marc Jacobs gives A-listers tight-waisted glamour

Sep 9, 2008

NEW YORK, Sept 9, 2008 (AFP) - Prim and proper met stunning and sexy for the new Marc Jacobs extravaganza at the highlight of New York's Fashion Week.

Photo : Stan Honda/AFP

The United States' most influential designer stole the show with the eclectic, late-night Monday parade described by online fashion watcher www.style.com as "Mary Poppins goes to Dubai."

Sashaying down the catwalk to the beat of George Gershwin's legendary "Rhapsody in Blue," 54 models unveiled Jacobs' collection to an A-list crowd headed by a new-look Victoria Beckham and pop star Jennifer Lopez.

Hemlines have been wandering at this year's Fashion Week, designers running from the shortest of shorts to the most flowing dresses.

But Jacobs, also creative director for French luxury house Louis Vuitton, was firm: skirts were pencil-thin but long.

The look borrowed more than a hint of the 1940s secretary or teacher look -- strict and elegant, naughty and glamorous -- coupled with a blizzard of accessories.

A crushed straw hat, metallic tweed, baseball-inspired sleeves: nothing was too outre and yet everything fitted in.

"America, womanly, Broadway, Perry Ellis, country, naivete," was how Jacobs himself dubbed the show in Bryant Park.

The collection lit up the New York extravaganza, which kicks off the annual circuit of mega fashion events also in London, Paris and Milan.

Victoria Beckham, known to her fans as Posh Spice, turned up with a surprise new cropped hair-do, dyed black.

Her arrival, hand in hand, with Lopez, prompted a paparazzi stampede and momentarily distracted the throng of 2,000 fashionistas from proceedings on the catwalk.

Monday saw some other memorable moments at shows infused with US presidential election excitement. "Vote for fashion," "Choose your style," read the slogans at Bryant Park's version of a political gathering.

France's New York-based designer Catherine Malandrino got a warm reception at the Chelsea Museum in southwest Manhattan for her detail-rich collection: tulle over lace, appliqued tulle and quilted leather.

In a patriotic nod to her adopted home, Malandrino returned to the flag motives that made her famous, with one gown featuring the Statue of Liberty.

Back in Bryant Park, Canadian Tia Cibani presented a fashion squaw look, with ethnic necklaces and layers of tulle over silk and lots of tucks and pleats.

Providing live music were Cibani's compatriots the Cowboy Junkies.

Tuesday's most eagerly awaited shows were Derek Lam and Alberta Ferretti.by Paola Messana

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