NEW YORK (AP) — Is it ever OK to — gasp! — step away from a trend? Absolutely, say some of the stylists, editors and designers gathered for New York Fashion Week.
After all, not everybody can or wants to pull on skimpy bra and cropped tops, a couple of styles popping up with some frequency as fashion week hit its sixth day.
So who can skip a trend? Brad Goreski of Bravo's "It's a Brad, Brad World," said anybody can, if they know themselves well enough.
"Know your personal style. It all comes down to this," he said in an interview. "You want to challenge yourself to try different things." That, he said, means risking those "fashion fails," which is just fine, Goreski said.
Katie Holmes, while shopping the collection she showed as half of Holmes & Yang, agreed. Just maybe not so much for herself and a bra top she and Jeanne Yang showed.
"I wonder if I could rock the bra top. I don't know where I think I'm wearing it to rock the bra top, but it's good to try. Maybe I'll wear it to Starbucks," she said with a laugh.
Avril Graham of Harper's Bazaar said the prevalence of cutouts and bare midriffs on the runways certainly requires "a will, a swagger, some confidence." But she added:
"The wonderful thing is that there are plenty of other ideas on the runway that can work for the rest of the population."
And tricks if you can't step away from trends, Goreski said. For example, he explained, wear a high-waist skirt or jeans with a cropped shirt for just a sliver of skin.
Adam Glassman, creative director of O The Oprah magazine, said knowing when to step away from a trend is key.
"I don't think we all have to wear every trend. Some do wear the trends — especially young people — but you don't have to. You have to be able to say, 'That's not for me.' You have to be honest to yourself, honest to your lifestyle, honest to your body type. And it helps if you have honest friends," he said.
A sporty vibe during this round of spring previews is back — and more forgiving than short tops that require more than a visit or two to the gym.
"It comes around every few years but it looks good, and there's a way for a lot of people to wear it," he said of sport-influenced cuts in fashion.
Like the beaded floral track pants with a knit top and heels at J. Crew, or an anorak or windbreaker with pencil skirt.
And Graham said even the young and trendy should be careful when it comes to showing off skin: "Camera angles can be very unforgiving."
Burch was inspired by the French Riviera in the '60s, where women would wear cute trapeze dresses to show off their legs and could turn a swim shirt and mini into an outfit worthy of a prime spot at a seaside cafe.
When the sun goes down, there were halter dresses to show off their tans on their shoulders, and other cocktail looks with jeweled collars and cuffs to add sparkle. Burch took the scarves these ladies surely would have had around their necks and turned them into a button-down shirt and a cotton sundress.
She paired a lattice cutout leather jacket with a lattice lace skirt. A block-print anorak — collar up — was worn with a matching-print dress.
"I love the easy elegance of the movie 'La Piscine' and Romy Schneider's character," she said.
VICTORIA, VICTORIA BECKHAM
Fresh from presenting her signature collection, Beckham showed her contemporary line by appointment.
She said she also likes to meet with customers. "I do a lot of in-store events, and this is the shape women want," Beckham said of a burnt-orange T-shirt dress.
Beckham wore the most daring silhouette: a quilted, pouffy sky blue dress with a black grosgrain-ribbon hemline and crinoline underneath. It was an unexpected look for a woman who is typically photographed in clean, lean looks.
"There are two sides of my wardrobe, for both sides of my suitcase, one is collection and one is this," she said.