Fashion Week: Usher and Spring Coats Rule

09/07/2004 at 01:10 PM EDT

Fashion Week: Usher and Spring Coats Rule
Usher
Peter Kramer/Getty

Usher

Usher

Fresh from the departure of last week's Republican National Convention, New York is now girding itself for Wednesday's start of Olympus Fashion Week – seven energetic days of catwalking, air-kissing and couture.

While business officially kicks off in midtown's Bryant Park with a 10 a.m. presentation by Kenneth Cole, social festivities will get rolling with a Fashion Rocks concert at Radio City Music Hall.

The all-star presentation, taking place Wednesday at 8 p.m., will be broadcast as a two-hour FOX special on Sept. 26. Among the performers: Beyonce, Usher, Andre 3000 of OutKast, Rod Stewart, Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys.

Denis Leary will host, and designers including Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger will have their work seen during the show.

As for the festivities in Bryant Park, the fashion marathon is set to conclude with back-to-back shows by Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan.

And, according to one report, the hot item of the week is shaping up to be the spring coat – a onetime fashion staple that fell out of favor by the end of the 1960s.

According to the Wall Street Journal, new lines of spring coats are due on Wednesday from Tracy Reese (in powder blue linen), on Monday from Oscar de la Renta (crisp coral cotton with detailed stitching on cuffs and collars), and on Tuesday from Peter Som (silk burlap, with buttons of Swarovski crystals).

"You throw on a coat that has some interesting detail and you are instantly dressed up," Som tells the newspaper – which also notes that stores such as Banana Republic, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman are allotting floor space to the once-forgotten item.

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