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My National

New York Fashion Week 2012 Day 1

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An exclusive peek into the world of top fashion as our fashion expert Gemma Champ gives you a daily take on what's happening, as it happens, during New York Fashion Week.

Rebecca Minkoff

It was a fresh idea with fresh execution at Rebecca Minkoff on Friday. The designer’s idea – updating the sunny, sporty Californian goodness of Slim Aarons’ photos from the 1960s and 1970s into a something wearable for today – was made explicit with the music. On one side of the stage, the retro guitar band Tennis; on the other, the DJ Cassidy, resplendent in a straw boater and sharp-as-a-knife jacket, twiddled the knobs on his decks. The result was a mash-up of jaunty, fey indie and Jay-Z’s Dirt Off Your Shoulder, with some 1980s New Wave thrown in. The clothes matched: utterly wearable in crisp whites, blues and degradé prints. New York sass at its best.

Rag & Bone

The invitation gave it away: a postcard, stamped to secure entry to the Rag & Bone show, which was held in a cavernous, car-park-like space at New York’s grandiose, neo-classical General Post Office building on 8th Avenue. The clothes were just as functional, if more high-tech, with gleaming ripstop nylons in gleaming white and, most memorably, as a coral poncho worn by Karlie Kloss as the show-closer. Also looking good were industrial grey coats and waistcoats, a superb sturdy blue shirtdress and piped leather platforms in tan and black – and Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich’s hard-as-nails music enhanced the blue-collar feel.

Billy Reid

With a soundtrack from the grizzly stars of Americana-tinged new folk – including Willy Moon and The Head & The Heart – Billy Reid delivered a gorgeous collection of men’s and womenswear that invoked a nostalgia for golden evenings, good and simple country living and preppy college kids in light linen, stripy blazers, chambray and fine knits. After a long, humid day, those crisp, humble fabrics and the fresh-looking beautiful things wearing them were like fashion nectar – even in an archetypal downtown New York art space at 9.30 at night. No funny business: just great clothes.

Earlier, the menswear designer Todd Snyder had taken a similarly wholesome approach in his presentation at Lincoln Center, with clean textures, neutral shades punctuated by blocks of bright colour, work boots, denim and something of an Aidan Quinn influence – all cheekbones, pushed-back hair and rolled-up sleeves.

Read Gemma's coverage from London Fashion Week on All Dressed Up

Read  more from New York Fashion Week

Victoria Beckham shows her Californian sideNYFW Day 6: Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein show us how it’s doneNYFW Day 5 – Jenny Packham, Naeem Khan and Dennis BassoNYFW Day 4 – Reem AcraNYFW Day 3 – Donna Karan’s DKNY collectionNew York Fashion Week Day 2 – VLOV, Esber and Alejandro IngelmoNew York Fashion Week 2012 Day 1