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March 29, 2017

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Runway diversity at Kors, a desert oasis for Ralph Lauren

NEW YORK- Michael Kors put plus-size model Ashley Graham and a live orchestra on his runway, and Narciso Rodriguez presented what he called a "no shenanigans" collection — just sleek, impeccable tailoring on clothes constructed to last a lifetime.

Some of the latest highlights at New York Fashion Week:

PLUS-SIZED MODEL ASHLEY GRAHAM STRUTS THE KORS RUNWAY

To the accompaniment of a live orchestra, Michael Kors presented a diverse runway that included plus-sized model Ashley Graham rocking a charcoal ribbed tank dress with a silver fox shrug, and 43-year-old supermodels Amber Valletta and Carolyn Murphy.

"Since the very beginning, I have always thought that my job really ... is dressing a huge variety of people of all ages, different body types, different heights, different ethnicities," Kors said backstage, just before launching is 36th fall collection. "And (in this show) we have women and men from their teens to their 40s. We have people who are petite, we have people who are curvy, we have people who are tomboys ... Honestly is my job is to make everyone look the best they can look."

Kors' collection, which drew Blake Lively, Amanda Peet and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, among others, focused on sensuality this season.

"I really kept thinking about the dichotomy that I think people want to feel strong and at the same time when you're feeling strong and powerful you still want to be sexy, but I don't like the idea of overt sexy," he said. "So we're really thinking about sensuality the season. And how do we express that particularly in a way that I think is great for the city streets?"

What Kors came up with, he said, was "a sneaky kind of sexiness." Makeup, for example, was minimal.

"There's not a miniskirt in sight," he added. "Long sleeves for the most part. But, at the same time, when you walk things unwrap, fringe flies."

The collection was heavy on comfy sweaters, camel coats, and colorful furs. But there was also a decent dose of evening glam: A number of items were embedded with crystals, providing their own light source as they traveled down the runway.

Celebrity models included Bella Hadid, in a slate-leopard wrap dress, and Kendall Jenner, closing the show in a decidedly glamorous strapless, black fringed dress with black sequin embroidery. Valletta wore a black crepe dress with black and silver embroidery.

A 20-piece orchestra was directed by fashion show sound veteran Michel Gaubert.

"In my head I guess I'm a bit of a Broadway impresario," Kors said. "I always say that I'd love to produce a Broadway show and I would. I think in so much of today's world, people don't experience the idea of anything live anymore.

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