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Patterned Pants Make Outfits Pop at Fashion Week

By Serena Solomon | February 10, 2012 4:07pm

LINCOLN CENTER — Bold, bright and patterned pants are making a statement at Fashion Week.

Instead of bags, bangles and necklaces, some of Fashion Week attendees are swapping their favorite items for pants to make their outfits pop.

“Patterned pants are like an accessory," said Natalie Fort, an advertising and marketing student from Dallas. "Instead of jewelry or a purse, you can wear just the pants,”  

The 20-year-old mustered up “a lot” of courage to wear leopard print pants, pairing them with a plain auburn top.

“It is something like a statement,” she said.

If leopard print pants are a statement, then Fashion Week regular Shail Upadhya is a walking declaration.

The Nepalese native  and retired United Nations employee — famous for his appearance in the popular documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” — has no problem mixing multiple patterns in one outfit.

“I love polka dots. I love stripes. I love plaid,” Upadhya said. “One wouldn’t be anything without the other."

On Friday morning at the tents, Upadhya, who now works as a stylist, wore an entire suit made from an eccentric-looking fabric he found in Thailand. The outfit is synonymous with Upadhya’s signature style, featuring multiple patterns in one look.

"Try one piece at a time," said the Murray Hill resident, "and when they get used to their look, they can add on another piece if they want."

Gretchen Harnick, a fashion marketing professor at Parsons The New School for Design, chose checkered pants as her statement look for Fashion Week.

“I like that its got a purple running through it so it is more feminine,” she said.

Harnick heightened the risk of her outfit by pairing her bold pants with a textured knit sweater over a button-up shirt featuring a fine pattern.

“I like to keep it all in the same hue. It is OK to do it if you keep it tonal," said Harnick, of her pattern-mixing rule.

“I am in the beige family today,” she said.