Sign Of The Times: NYC Fashion

By Seb Smith

New York originally established itself as a fashion hub well before the days of Sex and the City, but most people have come to know the city as centre for design thanks to the well known sitcom. Its haute couture mimics the vibe of the fashionistas sipping their cosmopolitans, the lights of Broadway and the arts. Its urban style labels reflect the chic of the streets, opposing the razzle-dazzle designer clothing seen on the salubrious avenues and strolling round Central Park.

DKNY (Donna Karan New York) born in Queens & grew up in Long Island, Karan is New York through and through and with a model mother and tailor for a father; it seems she was destined to become a fashion designer. DKNY is Karan's internationally commercial unisex label which has branched out into colognes and a wide range of accessories. Her spring/summer 2011 collection includes embroidered leggings, branded tees and polo shirts, Oriana sneakers, newspaper effect bag and trench coat plus bucket hats and bermuda shorts in high colour. DKNY is available through individual shops in most major cities, large chain stores such as House of Fraser and through many online shops.

Timo Weiland was raised between the inspiring realms of New York City and Jacksonville which has supported the effortless balance between rural and urban. Together with New York-native partner Alan Eckstein, their collections are infused with creative prowess and a notable appetite for experimenting from one of the world's most recognised style stages. The SS11 collection in women's designer fashion explores the season trends of high colour and pattern frenzy, showcasing their artistic leaning with the sassy Sweetheart Cocktail Dress, fun inkblot patterns on their Encasement Skirt and Racerback Tank but also adding to accessories with striking Skinny Belts in vibrant prints. You'll also find super sleek designs and colour blocking in the double knit Annabelle Dress and the playful playsuit in floral jacquard from the Jessica Romper with angled pleats and lace. Timo Weiland is available through Barneys in New York, Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong and smaller boutique shops in key cities but is an exclusive in the UK for online retailer Glass Boutique.

Vera Wang may be of Chinese heritage, but she's a New York girl at heart having been born and brought up there. A former figure skater, Wang is no stranger to elegance and finesse so it is no surprise her catwalk creations mimic these traits, another reason why she is such a sought-after wedding-gown designer by the wealthy, who want her to create unique designs especially for them. As a former editor at a fashion magazine, Wang knows what makes the catwalk tick; her spring/summer 2011 pieces of dark colours - slender grey, blacks and charcoals - are an eye-catching contrast from the masses. Gymnasium shorts, tapering pants, silk draped dresses, sumo rope belts and cross over tops are some of the highlights. Most of Wang's collections are stocked in boutiques and by certain online retailers, but her home-wear range is available in larger department stores.

In 1985 a Thomas Jacob Hilfiger from NYC founded the Tommy Hilfiger label which ultimately became known for its unisex denim range. The collection was much paraded on the rap scene of the 1990s and Hilfiger notably refreshed it - the Icon collection - for the new millennium ten years later. In a twist of fate, Hilfiger has breathed new life into this season's collection too; Rome Capri Pants or Carolina shorts, Victoria plimpsolls, the motifed floor-length Veronica Dress and nautical Breton-striped tees, for men there's the Badge Blazer, Mercer trouser, and Andy deck shoes. Tommy Hilfiger is available at internet retailers, individual shops in major shopping areas and large chain stores.

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