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BCBG sets tone of wearability at NY Fashion Week

NEW YORK — The layered look is popular, so that's exactly what BCBG Max Azria put on the runway Thursday during a somber start to New York Fashion Week with word of Alexander McQueen's death in London.

Word broke just as BCBG's models took their finale walk. The Bryant Park crowd of editors, stylists and retailers just beginning to form ideas about what fashion will look like in the fall was clearly distracted.

No great new ground was broken on the catwalk. Most of the colors were blacks, grays and some winter whites — all in varying doses of intensity — with occasional blues and yellows.

The company's scarf-style wrap dresses with sheer, long-sleeve, crew-neck tops underneath have real potential to be worn to cocktail parties, date nights and important business meetings. A wearer could toss a cozy, sleeveless charcoal-colored coat on top.

Another choice would be one of the many dresses with subtle studding in a nod to most women's desire to be slightly unpredictable but not downright edgy.

There was a hint that Max and Lubov Azria, the husband-and-wife design team, left everything slightly askew for a nonchalant style but nothing outlandish. They said they were inspired by "a clean and modern approach to fashion."

"A linear silhouette, transparent pleats and asymmetrical draping are layered and belted, giving shape to this season's vision of cool, easy sophistication," the Azrias wrote in their notes.

There were plenty of cut-out, wedge heel booties on the catwalk, but most of the front row wore flat-heeled boots to navigate slush left over from a snowstorm.