Feathers and fur fly at New York Fashion Week

Michael Kors brought a taste of Africa to his spring 2012 collection Wednesday, while J Mendel brought out white furs for the penultimate day of New York Fashion Week.

The catwalk could have been called the big cat walk as Kors, in the 30th year of his label, presented "memories of Africa."

Models came out in coats, dresses, shorts and jacket that evoked the safari theme, whether in zebra stripes, leopard print, or khaki that at times seemed authentic to the point of looking dirty and beaten-up.

A leopard dress decorated with russet feathers, ponchos with African prints, Spartan sandals, snakeskin patterns, big leather belts and oversized shoulder bags - this was a collection for the roughest and toughest of fashionistas.

Models may have been smiling at times, but there were holes in their cashmere outfits - carefully created holes, of course.

Actor Michael Douglas sat in the first row alongside model Rosie-Huntington Whiteley and actress Zoe Saldana. Rocker Courtney Love was also taking in fashion at the Lincoln Center in central Manhattan.

Nanette Lepore splashed hot pink, yellows and oranges into her collection, building on this year's tendency for bright colors.

And while the fashion world wondered whether Madonna will finally sign with Coty to create a perfume, Norma Kamali treated onlookers to a 3D video runway show with special glasses.

There was a more classic look at J Mendel, with long black and white dresses, and plenty of bare backs.

In keeping with the traditions of the label, founded in Paris in 1870, designer Gilles Mendel threw in little sleeveless boleros of white or blue fur.

Fashion week in the Big Apple ends Friday with Marc Jacobs, who asked for a delay in his scheduled appearance because of the recent Hurricane Irene. Shows from Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein are also still on the program.

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