This fall fits all

NEW YORK — When it comes to fashion, the phrase "something for everyone" seems to be used more frequently with each season. Fall 2010 will not be an exception, judging from the diverse and far-ranging designs that paraded down the runways during Fashion Week in New York last week.

The amazing mix of looks didn't vary just from one collection to another, but also in a single designer's collection. Diane Von Furstenberg, for example, seemed intent on giving her customers a head-spinning number of options that ranged from a Wall Street gray pinstripe crop pant and sweater outfit, to a feminine, petal-pink bolero covered in rosettes and worn with heather gray wool pants. She called her collection "Metamorphosis," a name that would have worked for many other designers as well.

While black was dominant, sometimes making up half of a collection, some jewel tones popped amid the somber shades. Also in abundance: gray, ranging from charcoal to steel to dove; beige, going from sand to camel; and a sprinkling of navy and burgundy.

One designer who stayed away from black was Nanette Lapore, who used autumnal shades of rust, copper, olive, gold and cinnamon. She opened the show with crimson.

And it was red that hit a high note in many other collections, too. Vivienne Tam, who played with a Chinese zodiac theme in her collection, showed a true red hue. Carolina Herrera incorporated red in small doses — a belt here, a red floral print there, a strap on a dress.

While Olympic athletes in Vancouver were going for the gold, silver or bronze, designers were offering plenty of all three in a multitude of garments, shades and finishes. Some were matte, some tarnished and others shimmering. Pamella Roland put all-out sparkle in her evening wear, and so did Mark Badgley and James Mischka.

The Badgley Mischka team used only faux fur, but many designers had real fur in their coats, capes and vests.

Oversized, richly textured sweaters will take the place of lighter-weight cardigans next fall. Although heavy, some were belted while others hung loose, serving as large, cozy wraps.

Heels were high and the short boots popular this year were in every show. For legwear, stylists chose tights — sometimes in bright colors — thigh-highs, opaque hosiery and over-the-knee boots.

And unlike last year when few hats were shown, several designers put a lid on their models. Carolina Herrera showed large-brimmed felt hats. Elie Tahari had a few floppy leather hats with casual looks, and Carmen Marc Valvo had nearly every model wearing the same style of narrow-brimmed felt hat, even though much of his collection was for evening.

On the whole, designers showed fall looks that were accessible. Marc Jacobs offered wonderfully constructed coats, dresses and knits. Nanette Lapore showed not only beautiful colors but silhouettes that would work for almost any figure or age.

Everything seen during the week of nonstop fashion won't make it into stores, but it gives designers and buyers a preview of the looks that will likely be popular as the summer of 2010 turns to fall.

And, yes, there really is something for everybody.