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September 26, 2017

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Travel stirs the imagination at NY fashion week

NEW YORK--New York fashion week hit the road Tuesday with colorful travel-themed looks from Tory Burch and J.Crew for the free-spirited woman on a quest for adventure.

California sister act Rodarte meanwhile sent out an army of medieval cyber punks in corseted silhouettes, while Marc Jacobs took a softer tack for his youthful diffusion line after his edgy own-label show the night before.

Burch made the most of the natural lighting on the mezzanine level of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center — home of the New York Philharmonic — for a spring-summer collection with a bohemian vibe.

"The idea was sort of this American prep remix combined with a kind of stylish magpie traveler ... a girl who has classics in her silhouette, then travels and picks things up along the way," Burch told AFP backstage.

Muted colors opened the show, which appropriately featured Manu Chao's 1991 world music hit "King of Bongo" as the soundtrack.

But those soon gave way to brighter colors and plaids, with indigo blue tie-dyed fabrics — made by women artisans from the Kindla region of Guinea with help from Burch's own charitable foundation — coming off as most impressive.

Burch, whose boho chic featured prominently in the television series "Gossip Girl" set in navel-gazing Manhattan, proudly sources her fabrics from places as diverse as China, Italy, Japan, Morocco and Turkey, as well as West Africa.

"It's multicultural," she said, explaining the direction in which her design vision is going.

In an hour-long presentation on the other side of Lincoln Center, trend-setting label J.Crew embraced a rainbow of candy colors for a fresh range of youthful looks for men and women, many shown with models in geeky glasses.

Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy veered away from the breezy feminine lines they showed in New York a year ago in favor of a darker post-goth look — fitting, perhaps, in this year of "The Hunger Games."

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