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Patriotic Outfits Are 'Haute' Stuff at Fashion Week on 9/11

By Della Hasselle | September 11, 2011 3:48pm
Donna Karan attends the Urban Zen Stephan Weiss Apple Awards at Urban Zen on June 9, 2011 in New York City.
Donna Karan attends the Urban Zen Stephan Weiss Apple Awards at Urban Zen on June 9, 2011 in New York City.
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Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

LINCOLN CENTER — Fashioinistas at New York's Fashion Week added a pinch of patriotism to the Lincoln Center tents on Sunday as everyone from attendees to designers took steps to honor the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Designer Donna Karan wore a 9/11 themed t-shirt at her runway show Sunday, and put up signs reading, "9.11.01 - 9.11.11. We remember that day 10 years ago that changed our city forever. We remember the courage, the inspiration, the compassion. How we came together, reaffirming our strength to the world. There truly is no place anywhere like our beloved city, New York. Our inspiration."

Fashion editor Amanda Weiner, Senior Fashion Editor at Niche Media, Gotham & Hamptons Magazines praised Karan's handling of the anniversary, writing on Twitter, "Leave it to Donna Karan to address 9/11 so eloquently."

The somber anniversary also reportedly prompted designer Lela Rose to make donations in honor of the 9/11 Memorial and the Wounded Warriors Project on behalf of each of the attendees to her runway show Sunday morning. The show kicked off with John Lennon's "Imagine" playing to an empty runway before the models came out.

"It's an odd convergence of events, of something so gloomy, a mourning on this commemorative day, and this fashion week that's so positive and forward," said immigration lawyer and Upper West Side resident Merrill Cohen.

Cohen, who has helped some of the models at fashion week get their immigration papers, marked the day by wearing a bedazzled American flag t-shirt with a jacket and jeans, adding that it was important to show support even at an event unrelated to the services Downtown.

Many other examples of patriotic wear included big red belts with white shirts, a flag dress and a shirt dotted with tiny blue stars.

"You don't want to be at Fashion Week as if nothing happened," Cohen added. "It's my small statement for New York and America."

Other Fashion Week attendees agreed.

"I felt it was appropriate to show a little support," said Crystal Nicodemus, a 29-year-old blogger from Portland, Oregon, who wore a blue silky shirt with stars.

"I didn't want to be so somber," she added. "I try to be a little more hopeful."

Spectator Frances Davidson, 19,  wore the garb not only because of the anniversary, but also in response to comments from others suggesting that designers were disrespectful for continuing through with Fashion Week on the 10th anniversary.

"I saw quite a few people tweeting about why can't Fashion Week stop for a day," Davidson, a blogger from London, said. "As much as it's important for it to be remembered, I don't think life should stop because of it."

To see other Fashion Week 2011 news, click here.