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New York Fashion Week: The Row by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Linda Miller Modified: May 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm •  Published: February 13, 2013
In this photo provided by The Row a model walks the runway during The Row Fall 2013 fashion show during Fashion Week, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Christian Siriano)
In this photo provided by The Row a model walks the runway during The Row Fall 2013 fashion show during Fashion Week, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Christian Siriano)

By Samantha Critchell/Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — It was as if Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen ordered up the chilly and dreary day on Day 5 of New York Fashion Week just so they could invite a small crowd of tastemakers into the lovely, inviting townhouse they used to present The Row collection for fall.

A fire was lit Monday in the Upper East Side entryway. Guests sat on fine wooden antique chairs and velvet settees: the perfect setting for understated luxury — and that’s what The Row turned out.

It no longer seems as if the Olsens take their show far away from the hub of seasonal designer previews at Lincoln Center or even from a downtown gallery for privacy or exclusivity — although they get both.

Editors, retailers and stylists need to be up close to appreciate the silk jacquards and cashmere and tiny flashes of mink on finely crafted silhouettes that look deceptively simple.

The Olsens, who won last year’s Council of Fashion Designers of America award as the top womenswear designers, elevated what could have been an ordinary (at least for the ordinary Madison Avenue shopper since they’re clothes are quite pricey) peplum skirt suit with expert fit and luxe textures.

They pulled off the same trick for pantsuits.

Some models wore the layers that the designers are best known for but the tailored ensembles stood out.

A strapless, wheat-colored, ankle-grazing dress had the right effortless chic look for the Olsens themselves to wear on a red carpet, if they went to such things. If they did, a black strapless jumpsuit, which was similar but just a bit more quirky, would be a more likely choice.