After years indulging in haute couture, Lebanese designer Georges Chakra debuted his new ready-to-wear line at New York's Fashion Week to rave reviews Saturday, receiving a standing ovation.
In marked contrast to the vibe at the New York Fashion Week enveloped in a cloud of economic austerity, Chakra—who dressed British actress Helen Mirren at the Oscars awards last year—kicked off his show with a bang.
"It's incredibly beautiful, over the top. This is a red carpet must have," hip celebrity fashion commentator Esther Nash said.
Always respectful of the feminine silhouette, Chakra's skin-tight, glossy dresses in futuristic colors range from red to jet black and silver to hot pink.
"There was life to the garment. This is very young, something you would wear," commented Nash.
Throwing out the somber mood that was tangible at the show's start Friday, with designers toning down their events to fit the financial pinch, Chakra's line, with its taffeta coat dress and wildly over-the-top neon garb, caught everyone's attention.
The designer received a standing ovation for his show.
"I would buy the little black dress with the plastic butterflies if I could afford it," Nash said.
Just before Chakra, French fashion house Lacoste, which is very active on the American market where it is competing against Ralph Lauren, did not show significant new designs.
But its collection was marked by warmth and soft colors like periwinkle blue and yellow sand.
Very few stripes were displayed this season by the artistic director of the brand, Christophe Lemaire, who wanted to make his mark with a soft hooded duffel coat.
Without revealing many details, officials of Lacoste announced during lunch that they are finalizing a project with the World Bank aimed at preservation of crocodiles threatened with extinction.
Jason Wu, a 26-year-old New York designer of Taiwanese origin, acquired instant celebrity status when First Lady Michelle Obama wore one of his dresses at an inaugural ball, at which she appeared with her husband on January 20.
Crowds gathered to view his presentation, but photographers waited in vain for the appearance of the first lady.
New York's Fashion Week, which opened Friday amid an economic recession, will showcase the collections of some 75 designers and is considered one of the most important fashion shows in the world.
On Saturday the habitual catwalk displays were accompanied by a tribute to Barbie, the doll that celebrates in its 50th birthday this year.