Fashion Fever

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My Monday morning almost stalled at the starting gate-as my cab from the West Village took 30 minutes to go 30 blocks thanks to standstill traffic, which naturally is because of Fashion Week. (I would have walked except for a wind-chill factor that brought temps below freezing and my 6-inch wedges were not willing to negotiate with random sidewalk ice patches!) Hallelujah, the fashion gods were smiling on me as I made it to the first show, Carolina Herrera, in the nick of time. As always, it was socialite central, with beautiful TV anchor Soledad O'Brien up-close and fashionable (albeit off the runway).

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Herrera's color palette was inspired by Edvard Munch's 1889 portrait of Hans Jaeger and a mini-theme was optical illusion with lots of tulle overlay on hand-painted georgette, over organza and over wool jacquard. A personal fave: A black wool felt shift dress with amazing perforated detail.

A sunburst plaid dress with a sweetheart neckline and crystal embellishment at the pockets was a decadent twist on a normally masculine print. Looking stunning on the swan-like model Sasha was a blue taffeta dress with this gorgeous loop detail. Classic Carolina.

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Speaking of classic Americans with innate Latin flair . . . Oscar de la Renta. As his muse will always be The Beautiful Lady (you won't find a biker chick in his repertoire!), sophisticated embellished suits with mink details flooded the runway-one fantastic coat after another. Oscar also does the chicest shift dress on earth and two I predict will be photographed everywhere are the oversized ikat print velvet and a beautiful bordeaux boucle mini. He also had some amazing day coats in a fantastic laminate, similar to patent, with embroidery that gave it a modern edge. My favorite evening silhouette-and needless to say Oscar's customer goes to black tie functions-was a gorgeous gown with an oversized collar set askew that came in black, and a beautiful violet taffeta at the end. Formal has never been so fab.

On to Luca Luca, which launched full-on luxury apres-ski looks like crystal-encrusted white jackets, stretch jumpsuits, and ski goggles. It was back to the futuristic with silver bodysuits, gold and silver sequins, and crystal embellishment. Luca Luca had some star power in the audience, which included Kimora Lee Simmons, Petra Nemacova, and Audrina from MTV's The Hills.

Since Thakoon was my favorite Spring Collection in New York, I was eagerly anticipating the fall line of this outstanding young designer. And did it fly-with feathers embellishing everything from skirts to dresses-feathers are a huge trend already. There were also gorgeous cocoon coats in different lengths and in beautiful deep colors, like cobalt blue and smoky gray. My favorite look was a saffron peacock print bateau neck off-the-shoulder top with an olive duchess satin-pleated skirt.

Such intricate detail everywhere: from a "striped" T-shirt made of paillette stripes, to a "swan" dress smattered in, you guessed it, marabou feathers that floated along the runway.

Max Azria, BCBG's high end line, had a big hit with patchwork in deep jewel tones. High fashion meets folksy. Feminine pleated halter dresses got "tough" with grommet belts and straps while his über-cool trench coat with an accordion pleated cape was Azria's riffing on the current cutting-edge classic trend.

Monday's grand finale was megastar Marc Jacobs. And even though it started 80 minutes late and we were squeezed into cold, metal bleachers-hate to sound like a groupie, but it WAS worth the wait. The celebs were packed in tightly too . . . Lenny Kravitz and his beautiful daughter Zoe, Rod Stewart and daughter Kimberly, Russell Simmons, Harry Connick Jr, Diane von Furstenberg, musician Devendra Barnhart, and photographers Terry Richardson and Nick Knight.

The show started with a huge red curtain sweeping open to show all of the models perched on stage. One by one they came down the runway, and it was one fabulous look after another.

Somehow Jacobs managed to pull off a collection that was part '70's working girl and part modern-day Greta Garbo. Almost all of the models wore wide-brim wool felt hats with knit stocking caps or cloche hats. There were gorgeous day suits, a red leather pleated skirt, high-waisted trousers, and mod geometric prints.

Two models even sported striking bright blue hair. Maybe this is Marc's Blue Period: One of the ooh-ahh worthy looks of the night was an asymmetrical off-the-shoulder midnight blue satin dress on model of the moment, Lekeline. Also a thrill for model-watchers: a rare Shalom Harlow sighting, in an amazing garnet strapless dress with tucks and pleating to look like a half-bow. Shalom or rather Peace Shalom!

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