Crazy in NYC, what a surprise Fashion: Calvin Klein comes unraveled as Karan and Lauren bolt the community tent. It's that season.


NEW YORK -- Fashion Week here is off to hissy fits and starts as designers try to figure out whether they want to bask in circus-like publicity or retreat into their own fashion towers to show their stuff to the select few.

America's haute trinity -- Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein -- are split on the subject. For three years now, the designer brotherhood has been making nice and showing in centralized, temporary tents with enough seating to accommodate mobs of press and buyers.

Now Donna and Ralph have pulled out at the 11th hour and decided to show in their own smaller and intimate spaces. Was Calvin ever ticked! And in public! "I think some of the designers in New York are crazy," he told the trade paper Women's Wear Daily, which is like telling the world of fashion insiders.

This tempest in the tents may seem silly to a world more concerned with just getting by, but little things mean a lot here during Fashion Week. Who's invited and where one sits are a life-and-death matter to the flock that follows fashion.

So who was sitting where? Donna Karan herself was front row at Yohji Yamamoto's show looking appropriately worshipful of the Japanese master, who showed a day before the Americans got started. His spare but beautiful clothes put the audience in a Zen state.

Not so the Gianni Versace shindig for his sister Donatella's Versus line, which kicked off the circus maximus in the tents. No meditating here, thank you. Watching and being seen was k.d. lang, who's the new spokesmodel for M.A.C. cosmetics. Woody Allen and his Soon-Yi were looking dressed down. Boxer Mike Tyson, looking big and bad, watched the funky and thin parade pass by.

Lisa-Marie Presley was elbow-to-elbow with Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Vogue, you know, made Lisa-Marie the April cover girl, styling her eerily after her famous father. This night, however, Lisa-Marie looked less like the King and more like a matronly Lady Bird Johnson in an Easter-grass green jacket dress and precision hairdo.

The trends for next fall are just beginning to sort themselves. Look to:

Prints, even for winter.

Lots of stretch fabrics that allow movement despite a closer fit.

More color beyond black in deep shades of grape, midnight blue, raspberry and loden.

Pants everywhere, cut low on the hip, tight to the leg and slightly flared at the hem to allow for a boot.

Trains. You got it. The evening glamour touch in four collections so far featured something to drag on the floor behind you. Creative dressers could achieve the same effect by dragging a mink stole through a restaurant, in faux and real.

Pub Date: 3/28/96

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