NEW YORK (AP) — The annual eight-day whirl of fashion began Thursday in New York with a mix of soft pastels and riotous color.

With more than 100 shows set to take place at Lincoln Center and many other Manhattan locations during New York Fashion Week, designers spotlighted their Spring-Summer 2015 looks. There were biker jackets and trench coats, slip dresses and patchwork pleats. Some went for filmy and ethereal, others for bold and gritty. And one designer introduced a tech-savvy way to shop: via Instagram.

Among the highlights:

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BCBGMAXAZRIA

The feeling on Thursday at BCBGMaxAzria's Fashion Week runway show was flowing and bohemian, and the look was pastel: Pale, ethereal colors like bare pink, light blush, ecru, light aqua, gray violet and lavender.

And if you liked what you saw, you didn't even have to leave your seat to go shopping. In a new Fashion Week twist, BCBG included instructions on how to buy various looks by "liking" an Instagram photo from the collection, after which the user would receive an emailed link to shop.

The most striking items included a silk wrap dress in a pretty gray violet, with a powder pink quilted belt; a sleeveless silk dress in a color called lavender mist; and, to end the show, a silk V-neck dress in a gorgeous shade of antique rose.


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Most looks were light, making the occasional heavy look, such as a white oversized jacket paired with a white silk dress, look even heavier in comparison.

A white embroidered motorcycle jacket, though, was a nice companion piece to a cotton skirt and cotton mesh embroidered top — all in white.

— Jocelyn Noveck

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CREATURES OF THE WIND

With a delicious clackety clack on the runway, Creatures of the Wind designers Christopher Peters and Shane Gabier on Thursday debuted their first in-house collection of shoes: comfy platform sandals, slides, low loafers and chunky heels.

Shoes, they said, intended to be friend, not foe.

"We only want to make shoes for regular people," Peters said after they presented their collage of a spring collection in a Chelsea gallery space. "A lot of our outfits are based around shoes."

Paired with sunny yellows, china blues, beachy wide stripes and optimistic florals, the shoes stood out on the winding, white runway.

Some were huarache inspired while others were sportier. They came in bright yellows, rich metallic reds and a touch of blue detailing.

"It's easy to forget about the fact that a shoe has to go on a foot and not destroy a person. You can make difficult clothing but it's not going to physically hurt you. Shoes, they will hurt you, so we really kept in mind that they had to be easy," Peters explained.

—Leanne Italie

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RICHARD CHAI

Richard Chai likely envisions a lot of rainy, windy days for Spring 2015 — so he's sending bright colors, metallics and lots of bold, shiny trench coats into those wet and blustery streets.

A highlight of Chai's Love collection for women, presented Thursday at New York Fashion Week along with his men's collection, was a shiny trench in a brilliant kelly green color, accompanied by a lavender slip dress with a ruffled "scarf hem."

It was Chai's brightest piece, but there were other strong colors: electric blue in a patchwork pleated dress, and acid yellow, in a short flared coat paired with a white dress and black biker shorts underneath.

For men, Chai favored sleeveless garments, often boldly striped, that showed off muscled, tattooed arms. But there were big trenches for men, too, sometimes paired with shorts, and chunky sneaker boots (those boots were produced with Timberland, and women's footwear with Dr. Martens).

For both men and women, lots of outfits had extra garments tied around the waist, for a casual, on-the-fly look — but maybe also in case of a sudden spring shower or gust of nasty wind.

—Jocelyn Noveck

 

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TADASHI SHOJI

Tadashi Shoji paid homage to 15th-century Venice and the Grand Canal at sunset as it reflects the famous Ca' d'Oro palace, in a collection of spring skirts, cocktail dresses and caped gowns that mixed lace with chain-mesh insets.

"It's the juxtaposition of power and the feminine," Shoji said backstage after his show.

Shoji is a history buff who has read a lot about old Venice. His royal golds, stately ivory and blush roses were nods to the gilt of the palace also known as the "golden house," and to the soft light of sunset, he said.

For some looks, he stayed true to his roots in silhouettes that would work for many shapes and sizes.

"Any dress or clothes, most important is comfort," he said. "You pay $10,000, $20,000 for clothes and you can't move, you can't dance, you can't breathe. That doesn't make any sense. I want to make a very comfortable cocktail evening dress. That's my motto."

—Leanne Italie

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