New York -- The Stones tour, the Beatles reunite, and fashion goes rockers. Fitted jackets with flaring lapels over lean-and-mean boot pants were the quintessence of mod style when these bands were new to the scene in the '60s. The look is again playing the runways of Fashion Week here.
Picture Keith Richards dressed by an upscale designer salon. There's also a gentler mod version that pairs a boxy collarless coat over stovepipe pants. Picture early Paul McCartney scrubbed up for the Ed Sullivan show.
Remember when the British fashion invasion? Vaguely? So it is with designers who are doing the '60s with bits and pieces of other decades thrown in.
Designer Kenneth Richard topped crushed velvet rocker suits with fluffy granny stoles. Donna Karan tarted up boring black with fakey leopard. Newcomer Erica Maeyama cut dresses and suits from fabric that looked pulled from Dad's plastic recliner.
It's looking like a neo-Naugahyde kind of season. Fabrics dipped in plastic, lacquered with varnish or spun by nylon give retro looks exciting chemistry. The luxurious naturals, however, continue to be the bread and butter of designer lines.
Marc Jacobs, the current darling of the affluent hip, showed cashmeres, yummy tweeds and laces in the blatantly baroque Plaza. His collection, too, stepped back to the '60s, but it was dressing for nice little rich girls rather than the rocker camp. Still, there was a naughty edge, with Black Watch prep school plaids showing a flash of glitter and skin, curvy sweater girl woolens and spoiled Princess coats.
Brocade and shantung cocktail suits looked too much like mumsie's old special occasion turnouts.
Speaking of mumsie, two perfectly polished and coiffed examples of the charity luncheon set were happily tucking free samples of Clairol hair color into their luxury handbags after one show.
"I picked this up yesterday and used it on the dog," says one. "It gave her a beautiful and shiny coat."
Have animal rights activists addressed the issue of pampered fashion pets?