NEW YORK (AP) — Every so often at Fashion Week, there is a moment when the runway is transported from the bustle of New York to a different time or place.
At Vera Wang on Tuesday, it was an idealized India. Tory Burch's muse was a preppy American who goes out to see the world. J. Crew had in mind a beach vacation.
Who needs a plane ticket to join the jet set? Fashion designers will let your clothes do the globe-trotting.
"If you see a great dress, you can build a lot around it. If you're doing a music video, the designer inspiration can even give the idea for the video," said Ty Hunter, Beyonce's stylist, who was among the editors, retailers and celebrities gathered at Lincoln Center on Day 6 of Merdedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Fashion Week continues through Thursday before the fashion crowd heads to London, Milan and Paris.
Vera Wang's India-inspired clothes were quiet, delicate and lovely, sometimes requiring a trained eye to notice Wang's nod to the Nehru collar or choli jacket. They invoked India without ornate trappings or touristy gimmicks.
Wang's A-list crowd (Stacy Keibler caused a front-row frenzy) could appreciate the soutache embroidery, which looks a bit like braided lace, that decorated a white sleeveless V-neck shift, and the chartreuse brocade peplum top with gold jeweled epaulettes paired with a chantilly hand-pieced lace sheath.
The collarless, sleeveless tailored jackets were a bit more obvious in their reference to India, but not too much so.
"The collection is out of India, but India is just the starting point," Wang said in a backstage interview. "There is no belly dancing, there are no sarongs, there are no saris. It is about the sort of discipline about Indian men's clothes like Nehru, against the mystery and sensuality of Indian women — but not literally."
Don't be surprised if some of these looks head out to Hollywood later this month for the Emmy Awards. "Well, that is a possibility. That is a distinct possibility," Wang said.
VICTORIA, VICTORIA BECKHAM
Easy, sporty dresses in sunbleached colors, friendly prints and a bird or two reflect California's influence on Victoria Beckham and her more affordable Victoria line.
Against bright white walls at Milk Studios, with a sweeping view of the Hudson River downtown, Beckham held her adorable toddler Harper (in a white romper) during the laid-back show, her second in a week and the third for the more casual line.
A dreamy "cloudy moon" print in a sloped-hem sleeveless dress above the knee had a muted white orb on top, fading into a sky of mauve and blue. She used the same pattern in a different silhouette with pleats along a seam at the waist that offered a roomy fit.
There were sheer panels at side seams in several dresses, including one in midnight blue, and patch pockets on others in black and military green, including one with short sleeves worn by a model and Beckham herself. The occasional bird popped up on the fronts of a few dresses, including a rooster in green with black tail plumes.
Beckham's usual attention to construction and detail was apparent.
"This is my fun side," Beckham said before one of several small seatings offering a more intimate look at the spring collection. "It's what I wear for the other half of my life. I have four kids. I really do like to have fun."
ALICE AND OLIVIA
Stacey Bendet, founder and designer of Alice and Olivia, predicts a breath of fresh air this spring.
No gloom and doom for her. The styles she offered up for next season at a preview Monday at New York Fashion Week were unabashedly happy, colorful and made to put a smile on the wearer's face — no questions asked.
"I started with the whole concept of going back to the American dream," Bendet said. "I wanted a return to optimism and feeling good."
Basically, Bendet was looking for an excuse to have a party. Where else would one wear a sparkly red-and-white squiggle-pattern bustier and flared miniskirt, or a silver halter dress with an open back and full skirt?
She mined the 1950s and its feminine silhouettes and bright colors for inspiration, so the collection has its share of swinging hemlines and bustiers. There were updates, though, including digital floral prints and a peach leather motocross jacket.
Bendet said she arranged the presentation in a Chelsea gallery space to feature vignettes centering on doors in primary colors. "I had the thought that when one door shuts, another one opens."
Pop star Avril Lavigne, the designer, promises a "badass" wedding dress she might make herself when she marries Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger.
"Either it's something I'm going to design, or partner up with, collaborate with another designer," she told reporters Monday after presenting the spring collection of her Abbey Dawn clothing line.
Kylie Jenner was the last to walk, in red, ultra-short shorts with garters attached and a black leather and lace biker jacket.
Lavigne debuted Abbey Road in 2008 and also sells signature perfumes. Her rocked-out clothes for spring include human skeletons in black on the front of stretchy, striped dresses and in white on others. Lavigne also used skulls in black lace on jackets and at the hems of minis.
Skulls with little neon rainbows were in another print used for tops, shorts and more mini dresses, matching pink and purple buns atop the heads of models and the streaks in Lavigne's hair.
AP Writer Leanne Italie contributed to this report.
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