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Fashion Shows

Designers get political in New York Fashion Week shows

Of all the liquid metallic gowns and clay-colored separates included in the 52 looks that Christian Siriano sent down the runway Saturday during New York Fashion Week, it was arguably his weakest look — a model wearing a pink satin skirt with a high slit and a simple black T-shirt — that made the biggest impression on his audience of celebrities and fashion industry insiders.

"People are People" was printed across the chest of the svelte gazelle of a woman. And the crowd immediately picked up on the message of inclusion. A burst of cheers and claps broke the dramatic runway music that filled the opulent ballroom of the Plaza Hotel near tony Fifth Avenue.

It was an...