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Black Leather, All White and 1920s Glam Were Top Trends at Fashion Week

By Serena Solomon | February 16, 2012 6:24pm

LINCOLN CENTER — Black leather, all-white ensembles and 1920s glamour were all trends seen splashed across the runway at fall Fashion Week this year.

As the twice-yearly event drew to an end Thursday, stylists such as Dawn Del Russo are busy translating catwalk couture into must-have styles for the street — and spotting them on celebrity trendsetters.

Del Russo said "it girl" actress Rooney Mara, new mom and megastar Beyoncé, and even HBO hit "Boardwalk Empire" were big influences for Fall/Winter 2012 collections.

"The runway for fall is always a little darker," said the stylist, who attended more than 20 shows during Fashion Week, which ran Feb. 9-16. "I think that is why [Mara] is a big influence."

Mara, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," brings the movie's sinister style to her red-carpet looks.

"There was a lot of black leather pieces from Alexander Wang," said Del Russo, adding she also noticed the trend in designer Derek Lam's show. 

The high collars in Lam’s design match well with some of Mara’s styles, Del Russo said. Designers Christian Siriano and Jenny Packham also pushed another Mara look with dark purple, near-black lipstick. 

While the actress might be most associated with black, she also occasionally wears all white.

"She kinda has that contrast — a little bit of white, a little bit of black," said Del Russo, who has attended Fashion Week shows for the past eight years and is a regular fashion commentator on television.

Del Russo said new designer Katharine Polk and her label Houghton had an "unbelievable" debut at Fashion Week, featuring a mix of white and cream, which blazed through the sunlight-filled foyer of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

"They did really pretty whites," Del Russo said. "The whole entire collection was unbelievable."

Flapper dresses covered in with gold and silver, as well as gloves and pantsuits, took the fashion crowd back to the 1920s, à la "Boardwalk Empire," which is set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition.

"It has a lot of movement to it," said Del Russo, of the conservative hems in Alexander Wang and Reem Acra shows that were reminiscent of that era.

Donna Karan took an unusual route, according to Del Russo, sending models down the catwalk in fitted suits.

"It is a little more unique for the runway, especially something a little more masculine," she said. "It seems [Karan] was trying to bring that back a little."

New mom Beyoncé might be most interested in the fur collars in the Jason Wu and Vera Wang shows, as well as the feminine silhouettes that appeared in Oscar de la Renta, Del Russo said.

"Beyoncé likes to play with the very full skirts," she said.

The dress Del Russo would pick for the New York-based singer was a patterned number with a cinched-in waste and a ballerina-style skirt.

"When it came down the runway," she said, "it was absolutely stunning."