Designers embrace togetherness Spring collections unveiled in a tent


New York -- Top American designers, not always of a ccooperative mind, have kissed air and made up, and are showing their spring collections under one tent.

Under the umbrellas of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), thousands of buyers and press are huddling together in harmony in two circus-sized tents set up in the Bryant Park grounds of the New York Public Library.

It is the American fashion industry's first effort to centralize the seasonal collections to attract the international attention that Paris and Milan have taken as their due.

In the past, the fashion pack was herded from cramped hot showroom to drafty lofts, risking falling plaster, jammed freight elevators and Manhattan traffic for a look at designer offerings.

Tents are better, and it has been an orderly procession of black-clad fashion faithful winding their way between the two white-draped tents and the library theater.

The only logjam in the first two days of shows was for the CK Calvin Klein event, which ended Sunday's program.

Tough black boots, which are the shoe of the moment with the fashion vanguard, did their duty as the crowd pushed and stomped to get a seat for Klein's less-expensive secondary line.

The show opened and ended with Kate Moss, his current muse. In between there was a great display of flesh wearing the clean and easy looks from the master of minimal. Donna Karan opened fashion week on Sunday with the DKNY line. New York is what Donna does best, and she pumped up the beat with clothes for summer in the city, including plays on banker suits, T-shirts, naturals and body-hugging sporting goods looks.

The runway was a family affair with men, women and kids all in the mix. So family that model Giselle finished the show with her pregnant tummy encased in a long stretch racer-back tank dress.

Oh, by the way, the news on hemlines is short.

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