LINCOLN CENTER — Despite the frigid weather, easy, breezy, translucent fabrics have snuck into wardrobes of attendees at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
The spring/summer trend of sheer fabrics that hit runways in last September's collections has already revealed itself to be a favorite of the fashion-forward crowd around Lincoln Center — even as temperatures hovered near freezing. Still, some in the fashion crowd may not be willing to bare all.
"Sheer is something you can layer and layer and layer," said Kayla Hayes, who dared to wear sheer black pants advertising lace briefs underneath. "It is not too bulky and it always looks great."
The 20-year-old student at the Fashion Institute of Technology was getting a head start on the sheer trend for the coming spring and summer.
"I am wearing three pairs of stockings so I am not completely bare," said Hayes of her effort to keep warm. Her colleague at FIT, Charles Haddad, designed her pants.
"They make me feel sexy and they are in my favorite color [black]," Hayes said.
Sonni Karuso, a media planner from New Jersey who was attending Fashion Week, wore a mesh top from American Apparel over a black tank.
"It is a good versatile piece," said the 22-year-old. "You can play in the neon colors with it."
The sheer look is bound to be a hotly debated topic in fashion circles this year.
When shown an image of a long sheer skirt over briefs from Vera Wang 2012 Spring Summer collection, wardrobe consultant Shatonia Amee didn't think she could wear it.
"That is a little too sheer," she said with a chuckle. "I definitely don’t have the body for that."
Her Fashion Week companions agreed.
"I would wear that only on the beach," said Angela Simmons, of Queens.
Others felt the streets of New York provided the freedom required for the more risqué outfits.
"I think I could do it in New York, probably not in Oklahoma," said Meagan Owen, 25, of her home state.
May Buranasiri, a radio disc jockey from Thailand, said her native country was too conservative for the look.
Buranasiri, 31, studied the outfit, with its sheer fabric in pastel green.
"Maybe at an event you could pull that off," she said, "but not on the street during the daytime."