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NY Fashion Week: Fur, cats and leather harnesses hit the runways

Globe Style's Amy Verner has packed up from Paris and landed in New York to cover Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The third day of shows presented an eclectic mix of fabrics, feminine silhouettes and foreign influences

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Designer Peter Som’s collection for Fall 2012 played up the peplum – the flared, bell-shaped fabric detail around the waist. This was more successful when applied in cashmere, shown here, than frilly organza.

Carlo Allegri / Reuters/Carlo Allegri / Reuters

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One designer’s “merlot” is another’s “plum.” Add Peter Som to the list of labels showing this rich wine-y hue for next fall. Here, it stands out as stiff wool melton outerwear.

Richard Drew / AP/Richard Drew / AP

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No doubt a great amount of time and skill went into making this fox patchwork coat. Which is why pieces like these should not be saved for special occasions. Why not wear it to the grocery store! Or for watching hockey practice!

Richard Drew / AP/Richard Drew / AP

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Som tends to introduce at least one new print to each collection. Last season, it was magnified rose blossoms in Technicolor. For this collection, it is the “mineral” print as it appears on a wool cropped jacket and day dress.

Richard Drew / AP/Richard Drew / AP

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The other print in the collection, viewed up close, revealed curled-up kitties.

Richard Drew / AP/Richard Drew / AP

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Jason Wu’s Friday show was live-streamed on the web site of Nordstrom, the American department store, reaching an audience far wider than fashion insiders. In part, this accounts for the theatricality of the massive Forbidden City doors replicated at the top of the runway.

Jason DeCrow / AP/Jason DeCrow / AP

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But as was evident in the preceding dress with its embroidered medallion motif, Wu, who grew up in Taiwan, combined the prints and brocades of the Qing Dynasty with seductive, Shanghai Express cinematic silhouettes. This slim fitted suit with fox collar demonstrates another sum of all those parts.

Jason DeCrow / AP/Jason DeCrow / AP

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Less understandable were these hats with their turned-up brims and gold knob tips, which appeared sporadically through the show.

Jason DeCrow / AP/Jason DeCrow / AP

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In addition to a grouping of looks in military green and red in which uniform details such as epaulets shared space with lace panelling, many outfits had all the glamour and foreign allure of a James Bond villain-temptress. Decadently embellished gowns vaguely evoked Paris in the 80s.

Jason DeCrow / AP/Jason DeCrow / AP

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Francoise Hardy, the stunning French performer, was the muse over at Yigal Azrouel where overstatement took a back seat to well-cut pants and sleek outerwear. In winter sky blue, this hooded coat came as a welcome alternative to predictable black and grey.

Stephen Chernin / AP/Stephen Chernin / AP

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Just in case you were unconvinced on merlot – dubbed “red oak” in Azrouel’s program notes. And indeed, the top-to-bottom lambskin look is not for amateurs.

Stephen Chernin / AP/Stephen Chernin / AP

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Another developing theme is the show-stopper fur coat. Azrouel opted for silver fox with leather trim. Too much? There were also over-sized trapper hats with enough headroom to hide a box of cupcakes.

Stephen Chernin / AP/Stephen Chernin / AP

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Tess Giberson has a deft knack for layering, no matter the season. With the word “Wrap” as her starting point with this collection, she played with fabrics, folding, tying and draping them – gently enveloping the body instead of building bulk.

Handout/Handout | Thomas Kletecka

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But then she’ll make sure there’s a tailored jacket – this one has a sharply pointed hemline at back – as a structural counterpoint.

Handout/Handout | Thomas Kletecka

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“Teal satin quilted scarf” is how this piece was described in the program notes but I’m more tempted to just call it a “must have.” The fabric’s slight sheen gives it a dressier purpose, especially compared to most down. It even has pockets.

Handout/Handout | Thomas Kletecka

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Giberson worked with Jill Platner on the jewellery – a collection of multi-use leather and silver belted pieces. Draped as linear harnesses, they create frames and interesting borders around and within the clothing.

Handout/Handout | Thomas Kletecka

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