NY Fashion Week, Day 4: Beckham's kids at her show; real people on DKNY runway

The Associated Press

David Beckham takes a photo of his four children in the front row before the Victoria Beckham show, as daughter Harper sits in Beckham's lap Sunday Feb. 9, 2014, during Fashion Week in New York. (AP Photo/Jocelyn Noveck)

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"And then it occurred to me that my wrap dress was originally inspired by the little sweaters that ballerinas wear," she said, referring to the pink sweaters that wrap with a ribbon above the waist. The finale of von Furstenberg's show, in which the models came out again, in shiny gold dresses, made clear reference to the little sweaters.

—Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP and Nicole Evatt, http://www.twitter.com/NicoleEvatt

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WHO'S THAT ON THE RUNWAY AT DKNY? REAL PEOPLE!

If you've ever watched a fashion show and said to yourself, "Those aren't real people out there on the runway," Donna Karan has an answer for that.

For her DKNY runway show Sunday, Karan presented — along with the models, of course — an assortment of non-models: A DJ. A TV presenter. A printmaker. A few students. A biologist, a "night life hostess," and, in the most intriguing entry in the show's written program, a "tattoo artist/ pro skateboarder."

They walked the runway with confidence and drew enthusiastic cheers. Some were built almost like models, others weren't. Some had (gasp) gray hair, but all looked great in Karan's colorful clothes.

Karan said she decided to display non-models because "DKNY really is about the streets. It's about the streets of New York, the energy of New York, the people of New York. "

The show began with a short film featuring the young New Yorkers about to walk the runway, speaking about where they live — Greenpoint in Brooklyn, for example, and Tribeca — and why they came to New York.

Angel Haze, a musician, wore a favorite DKNY look: a long black faux fur vest. Devan Mayfield, a painter and a health practitioner, wore a crepe houndstooth and lace shift dress. Daniel Bamdad, a TV presenter, wore slim black jeans and a black cotton cutoff shirt. Masha Korchagina, an actress and biologist, wore a black and white shearling "cape vest." Melissa Burns, the nightlife hostess, wore a striped shearling coat.

Some of the nice looks went to the models, too, including an edgy black vinyl pleated slip dress, a delicate gray lace dress with a pleated hem, and the filmy silk, lace and flannel long slip dress that closed the show — all in gray.

—Jocelyn Noveck, http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP and Nicole Evatt, http://www.twitter.com/NicoleEvatt

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TRACY REESE: DIVERSITY IS AN ISSUE ON AND OFF THE RUNWAY

Diversity on the runway is only part of the race problem in fashion, said Reese. There's plenty to be done behind the scenes as well, she said.

Reese, a rare black female designer at New York Fashion Week, sees no single solution.

"There's so many things that need to change. There are a lot of designers of color but I think there's just a dearth of designers out front," she said Sunday as she dashed from runway walk-through to makeup re-touches for one of her models Sunday at a space in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.

"Some of that is finance. But I think by saying that diversity is beautiful, that is a beginning, to look at all people and to see the beauty in each of us and their value is a very strong beginning. It's important to keep the conversation going, then people will start to broaden their vision."

During September's Fashion Week, supermodel Iman joined Naomi Campbell and veteran modeling agent Bethann Hardison talking loud and clear about race and runways.

They launched Balance Diversity, an effort to boost the number of black models. And they named names, calling out Donna Karan, Proenza Schouler, The Row, Victoria Beckham and Calvin Klein as among those who used nearly no black models the previous February.

The website Jezebel calculated that 82.7 percent of that season's New York Fashion Week models were white, 9.1 percent were Asian, 6 percent were black and 2 percent Latina.

Reese, known for diverse runways, said she mentors up-and-comers of all colors, including black women.

"Quite a few black women have interned for us over the years. I've hired a few of them on our team. That's important, too, to keep talking to young people and let them know what the possibilities are in the industry," she said.

But it's not all about the runway.