Donna Karan, Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week

After a weekend of fresh new faces, it's the turn of the big names at New York's Bryant Park tents

With the sunlight glinting off piles of snow on the pavements (or should that be sidewalks?), New York Fashion Week passed the halfway mark today with a stream of A-list shows.

New Yorkers might have been celebrating President’s Day (which, as far as we can figure out, mainly consists of free muffins with your coffee and fewer cab drivers working than normal), but there was certainly no rest for the fashion pack.

After a weekend schedule jammed with cool hipsters (think Alexander Wang and Erin Wasson) today heralded the start of the big-name shows with Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs all squeezing their runway presentations into an action-packed day.

Mind you, just because these designers have plenty of experience under their couture belts, doesn’t mean they’re out of fresh new ideas.

Former new-kid-on-the-block Zac Posen, who’s been showing for so many seasons he’s now practically establishment despite being just 29, had foregone his usual out-there designs in favour of a toned down collection that was designed to sell (there weren’t any Sex and the City-style bridesmaid dresses this season) with smart funnel-neck capes, smart office-appropriate trousers and velvet jackets.

At Carolina Herrera, meanwhile, things were as upscale as ever with each piece as luxe as you like, featuring an excess of fur trims, extravagant embroidery and sumptuous evening gowns. These might not be mass-market best-sellers, but they’ll go down a storm with the loyal Herrera woman.

SEE CAROLINE HERRERA CATWALK PICS

 Carolina Herrera Autumn/Winter 2010-New York Fashion Week

Fast-forward a few hours and it was the turn of Donna Karan, where her front-row guests, Susan Sarandon, Demi Moore and Brooke Shields, had the latter rows all a-Twitter (one stressed-looking PR girl was even heard politely requesting to those whose view was blocked by over excited paparazzi, ‘I don’t want any of you to Tweet about bad seats.’)

She needn’t have worried, in fact it was a series of stunning, sculpted coats that garnered most comments and the refined, mostly black, palette, which the bloggers in the audience picked up on.

With the sun long gone and the snow falling thickly, Marc Jacobs finished the day with an aesthetic that couldn’t have been more different to last year’s 80s-tastic winter collection. Gone were the day-glo colours and shiny fabrics, replaced with tweeds, suede and boucle, and in place of micro-minis, new demure hemlines and even a few pairs of culottes.

SEE MARC JACOBS CATWALK PICS

 Marc Jacobs Autumn/Winter 2010-New York Fashion Week

Even without the flashy front row of last season (where Madonna and Lady GaGa scored the show multiple column inches), the event wasn’t without spectacle, with the models emerging from a brown cardboard box which Jacobs himself ripped the paper from.

The young guns might have the cool factor, but the old guard still know how to put on a show.

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