Vera Wang's romance and winter ninjas for Marc Jacobs
Models walk the runway at the Marc By Marc Jacobs show during New York Fashion Week on February 11, 2014 - by Arun Nevader
Wang, whose evening wear and bridal gowns are highly coveted by the Hollywood A-list, told AFP that her runway show was perhaps the most personal of her long career.
"Dark romance, it's my true spirit," she said. "We change, we're affected by the world, films, art, sport, books... but this time for me it was really, really personal."
Her collection featured a lot of tartan, a dominant theme this season, black and charcoal coats, pants, dresses and silk shirts, sometimes worn with a large sweater.
There were shiny large beetle-shaped broaches on coats. Extraordinary lace dresses, in silk and black tulle, closed the collection.
She said her 40 years in fashion had been built on a reputation for a certain type of eccentricity combined with sensuality, and of a gender-bending mix in her silhouettes.
"This time it was... a type of woman who is very mysterious, very complicated, very young at heart and who wants to be a little less well-known," she said.
"The clothes are made by hand in ateliers, it's not real ready-to-wear -- it's more like in Paris, in the Parisian fashion houses," she told AFP.
Tuesday's other highlight was Marc by Marc Jacobs, the second bow to the empire of the beloved New York designer, on display in a warehouse on the East River.
Jacobs sat in the front row to watch British designers Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley, recruited last May, unveil a brand that Jacobs has said he would like to rename.
It was a spectacle of mixed silhouettes and ninja-power rangers in big moon boots and sneakers. There were models in braids and tight skirts of bright pink or blue plastic.
At Rodarte, the Mulleavy sisters plunged into the fantasy world of cult film series "Star Wars" for their fall/winter woman of 2014.
A print of Luke Skywalker appeared on the side of a gray and beige silk dress, embellished with Swarovski crystals.
The likable droid R2-D2 was printed on a long skirt and Jedi Master Yoda, one of the key Star Wars characters, on a black silk dress.
"It's... just kind of the culture of who we are," said Kate Mulleavy.
"The collection for us is about childhood and nostalgia... the Star Wars elements of it is really in a sense just kind of a poetic interpretation of what we loved then and we love now."
US label J. Crew, a favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama, also unveiled its men's and women's collection, this time inspired by the 1920s and 1930s cabarets of Berlin.
Chief women's wear designer Tom Mora said he was attracted to the cultural creativity of the Weimar years, which were sandwiched between World War I and the 1933 Nazi takeover.
"Very free, very liberal, lots of experimentation, women dressing as men, so we always love that little nod to menswear," he told AFP during the presentation.
J. Crew's signature look often creates texture -- next winter's collection uses Harris tweeds, Donegals, cashmere and shearling knit sweaters to present classic with a new twist.
A standout from the women's collection were wide-legged trousers cropped to the ankles, one in stunning gold sequins, and sky-high stilettos.
Michelle Obama is famous for mixing high-end and low-end pieces to create her own signature brand of chic. When she wears something from J. Crew, the items often quickly sell out.
"Any time Michelle Obama wears our clothes, we're just proud. She's a very stylish woman, that's all I can say about that," Mora said.
Fashion week ends in New York on Thursday before the style parade moves over to London, Milan and Paris.