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Calvin Klein show delivers political message at Fashion Week

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/11/2017 By The Associated Press
Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker attend the Calvin Klein runway show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker attend the Calvin Klein runway show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

NEW YORK (AP) — Crunchy snow and ice greeted designers, models and fans at New York Fashion Week on Friday, a day after a snowstorm pummeled the city. What visitors got was a high-profile debut and a political message at Calvin Klein, and not one but two collections by Kate Spade.

The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

Among the day's highlights:

The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

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Naomie Harris attends the Calvin Klein runway show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press Naomie Harris attends the Calvin Klein runway show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

CALVIN KLEIN: A MESSAGE FROM THE RUNWAY

Karlie Kloss attends the Calvin Klein runway show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press Karlie Kloss attends the Calvin Klein runway show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

The message could not have been clearer or more pointed: Raf Simons' debut collection for Calvin Klein opened and closed with the David Bowie song "This is Not America."

Raf Simons, left, chief creative officer, and Pieter Mulier, creative director, greet the audience after presenting their Calvin Klein runway show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press Raf Simons, left, chief creative officer, and Pieter Mulier, creative director, greet the audience after presenting their Calvin Klein runway show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

"When you have a voice, you should use it," Simons said backstage just last week at his own label's menswear show. And now, for his much-awaited bow Friday morning with new employer Calvin Klein — for which he has moved to New York — the Belgian designer was using his.

The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

The soundtrack wasn't the only means Simons used to put across his message. A day earlier, Calvin Klein had sent guests patterned bandanas, with a note saying: "Unity, inclusion, hope and acceptance: Join us at Calvin Klein in wearing the white bandanna. #tiedtogether."

The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

The clothes, too — designed along with the label's Pieter Mulier — were meant to display an inclusive message, sort of a melting pot of styles. "It reflects the environment," Simons wrote in the show notes. "It is the coming together of different characters and different individuals — just like America itself."

The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

There were nods to the American West for both women and men, with denim jackets over loose jeans, or colorful cowboy-style shirts. There was sporty America, in striped tube-sock sleeves — similar to the arm-warmers shown by his men's label. There were crisp business-like suits in black and white, and coats in colorful quilt patterns.

The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

For some flash, there were a number of garments — dresses, coats, skirts — encased in a layer of plastic, looking like cellophane wrapping on a gift. In one dress, the plastic shielded a burst of feathers in white, yellow and black. A golden yellow furry coat also had this laminated effect. Another common embellishment was a silver metallic flower, appearing on black leather jackets or sheer mesh tops that left little to the imagination.

The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

Among the celebrity attendees were Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomie Harris, Kate Bosworth, Greta Gerwig, Brooke Shields, director Sofia Coppola, and supermodel Lauren Hutton.

The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) © The Associated Press The Calvin Klein fashion collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

Hutton praised both the show's contents and its messaging.

Models display clothing from the Spring 2017 collection by Kate Spade in New York. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt) © The Associated Press Models display clothing from the Spring 2017 collection by Kate Spade in New York. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt)

"He's a new miracle," she said backstage of Simon's arrival at the label, a post the former Dior designer has taken over from Francisco Costa. Asked whether politics should have an expression in fashion, she said: "I think that's what all art is for. Fashion, if it's good, always has something to say about society."

Models display clothing from the Fall 2017 collection by Kate Spade in New York. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt) © The Associated Press Models display clothing from the Fall 2017 collection by Kate Spade in New York. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt)

Designer Diane von Furstenberg also was among the front-row guests. She wore a large button that said: "Fashion starts with Planned Parenthood."

"It's not about politics," she explained. "It's about women's rights, about the body, and about human rights."

—Jocelyn Noveck

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KATE SPADE TURNS IN TWO LINES

Kate Spade just wants to have fun.

The playful womenswear brand presented two collections Friday at New York Fashion Week, complete with pom-pom accents, colorful fringe and a cake-shaped purse.

"I love the vibe. I love that it's so flirty and feminine and very chic, but also has like a sense of humor to it. I think that's really fun," said actress Victoria Justice during the event held at New York's famed Rainbow Room.

Leighton Meester, Jamie Chung and Camilla Belle also braved the cold for the morning presentation held on two floors with a dual purpose: A spring line of see-now, buy-now clothes and the fall 2017 collection inspired by 1920s Paris.

"The spring collection, which is appearing in the stores at the moment, select pieces are going to be available," explained the brand's Chief Creative Officer Deborah Lloyd. "You can see it, love it, and buy it, I hope."

The small, buy-now spring line included fun accessories like wicker purses in the shape of camels and monkeys and a large straw hat with colorful, dangling tassels.

There were jean dresses with floral appliques and denim overalls paired with a cozy, fringed turtleneck sweater.

Another floor featuring Spade's fall looks showcased feminine dresses and skirts with a moody edge of black lace, leather and faux fur.

Floral patterns mixed with leopard prints and high necklines ran throughout, accentuated with bows, ruffles and pearls.

Models posed, lounged and rotated around the center of the room. One snacked on candies hidden in her black and pink gold-studded bag.

"It's just very fun and young and fresh," said Belle. "So exciting, colorful and happy and just kind of puts a smile on your face."

—Nicole Evatt

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