The style set stands to attention as Prabal Gurung champions military trend at New York Fashion Week

Fashion's top brass seems to like the military look for
next fall. Three days into the seasonal previews at New York Fashion
Week Saturday, styles for the urban battlefield have emerged as a trend.

Prabal Gurung, one of Michelle Obama's favourite designers, opened his
show with a sharp black cape – with a black patent-leather tank peeking
out – and black neoprene moulded trousers. The outfit oozed strength but
it wasn't overly tough, either.

It was a similar story at the Rag & Bone and Jason Wu shows a day
earlier, which both took traditional military touches, including strong
shoulders, epaulets, grommets and big buttons, and put them through a
feminine filter.

Prabal Gurung

Yes sir! Prabal Gurung championed the military look for next fall by opening his show with a sharp black cape and black neoprene moulded trousers. The outfit oozed strength but it wasn't overly tough, either

Meanwhile, Tommy Hilfiger described his new men's
collection as 'an academy look that is sophisticated, modern, a touch
rebellious but buttoned up.' In the notes from Friday's show he called
the line 'a personalized take on military precision.'

'Maybe there's some subconscious thing with the troops coming out of
Iraq,' said Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire. 'There is a
more positive spin on military, much more so than when we saw military
after 9/11.'

The look is a good one for consumers, she said. 'Military is easy to
wear. It smartens your outfit, chic-ifies outerwear and it's a good
color range of neutrals that are flattering.'

Ms Coles added, 'The military is a well-oiled machine and military clothes
reflect that. There's organisation and no room for doubt.'

Prabal Gurung

Rag & Bone

Jason Wu

Theme and variations: Prabal Gurung (left) was not the only label to take inspiration from the military. Rag & Bone (centre) also played on the idea, as did Jason Wu on Friday (right)

But there's a broad range of styles that tap into the trend, from crisp
dress clothes inspired by officers to the more hipster interpretation of
the urban warrior.

Mr Gurung said his strong runway designs were more to make a statement and
tell a story than some of his other looks for fall, which he described
as 'more wearable and sportswear-driven.'

He said he didn't have the
first lady in mind when he conceived of the collection, adding, 'I do
hope she's going to like something. But it's more her effect has
tremendous positive impact on my business.'

Saturday afternoon and evening shows included celebrity
stylist-turned-designer Rachel Zoe and Christian Siriano, who zoomed
to success since his 2008 win on the Project Runway TV show at age 22.

Highlights from day three at New York Fashion Week


It was a star-studded audience for Prabal Gurung, who offered sharp, edgy black outfits with strong silhouettes,
slashed sleeves and high-gloss patent leather and ended with
Oscars-worthy white gown gowns with feathers and gold lame.

Zoe Saldana and Anna Wintour were the guests of honour, with Coco Rocha, Brad Goreski and Isabella Rossellini's model daughter Elettra Weidemann making up the rest of the front row's famous faces.

Mr Gurung created hourglass shapes with sheer panels on models who
sometimes looked like beanpoles. Some garments were moulded to define
silhouettes without making them clingy.

Zoe Saldana

Anna Wintour

Guests of honour: Zoe Saldana (left) and Anna Wintour (right) sat front row at Prabal Gurung's show today

Elettra Wiedemann

Coco Rocha

Brad Goreski

Famous faces: Elettra Weidemann (left), Coco Rocha (centre) and Brad Goreski (right) were also at the show

Blouses and dresses came in a recurring print of a
steer's skull that sounds scary but was subtle and truly lovely. Trousers were narrow but with boot-leg bottoms. Chic coats were also long and lean.

The First Lady famously has several Gurung pieces in her wardrobe.

'Mrs. Obama has supported Prabal and enjoys wearing his clothes because
he's talented,' said stylist Mary Alice Stephenson, who attended the
show. 'There is an incredible amount of talent here in American fashion
and he's one of our stars.'


With winged dresses and swirls of
piping to evoke veins, Christian Siriano paid homage at New York Fashion
Week to Fay Wray and vampire bats in a stark, cavernous runway space
worthy of the creatures of the night.

fourth-season winner of the cable TV fashion designer competition
Project Runway said he was inspired by old horror films, particularly
The Vampire Bat, a black-and-white from 1933 starring Wray.

used a near blood red, silvery grey, midnight black and shimmery gold
brocade to set the scene, along with a bright white as a nod to Fay's
skin tone and wardrobe in the movie.

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano

Twilight zone: Former Project Runway star
Christian Siriano went for a gothic theme for his fall 2012 collection,
taking inspiration from vampire bats and Thirties horror films


Nicole Miller played on parallel times past and present, combining bright digital prints with rocker black, brown suede and velvet in a fall collection inspired by Jimi Hendrix.

Known for red carpet gowns worn by Angelina Jolie, Ms Miller put together a New York Fashion Week runway evoking the Seventies in colour and cut. She put long fringe on the bottom of skirts, ruffles on silk blouses and alpaca trim on a vest and a black leather coat with a metallic brocade.

Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Doing the hippie chic: Designer Nicole Miller says her collection was inspired by 'freedom and power'

'I'm inspired by the freedom and power I
see all around us, popular culture particularly,' Ms Miller said. 'My
designs this season have a certain vintage feel, with a modern and
feminine twist.'

One of her
digital prints was a feather design in a light mossy green. Another
featured garden flowers and a third was a neon plaid in pink, orange and
a touch of blue against black in a velvet trouser. The same print was
carried into a mini skirt.


The second outfit to come down Jill Stuart's runway, a gold
leaf-embroidered T-shirt paired with black sailor pants, is headed
straight to the designer's closet.

She had it earmarked for her wardrobe even before she debuted her fall collection.

Some dresses had flippy, flouncy hemlines and others had a schoolgirl
jumper silhouette, adding moments of levity to the catwalk, but the
emphasis seemed to be on the sharply defined shoulders, high necklines
and the occasion panel of suggestive sheer fabric.

Many of the prints and embroideries featured a floral motif, but there
was nothing flowery about black roses on stark winter white backgrounds
or prints that seemed to paint a picture of a garden in the dark. This
collection showed a more serious side to Stuart.