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Stephen Burrows designs for Raven Denim

RENEE MINUS WHITE Fashion & Beauty Editor | 3/23/2012, 2:50 p.m.
At Audi's showroom on Park Avenue, designer Stephen Burrows shows a sleek line of jeans...
Stephen Burrows designs for Raven Denim

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Stephen Burrows designs for Raven Denim

At Audi's showroom on Park Avenue, designer Stephen Burrows shows a sleek line of jeans with contrast stitches and slinky matte jersey knits with chevron patterns.

The capsule collection for Raven Denim made its debut last Thursday evening.

The show marks the first time that Burrows has shown jeans on the runway, and is Raven Denim's first collaboration with a designer. According to Raven Denim's design director Yael Torbati, "Stephen Burrows is an icon.

For anyone with a fascination with fashion history, '70s style or downtown New York, Stephen Burrows is it.

"Our aesthetics and vision were perfectly aligned," she continued.

"Together, we created a sleek, chic collection that combines Stephen's signature style with today's cur- rent denim trends." Burrows and Torbati's vision for anti-casual jeans starts with two styles named for Burrows' muses: legendary '70s supermodel Pat Cleveland and her model daughter, Arina von Ravenstein.

The jeans pair perfectly with sexy heels and a glam blouse. The Arina is a chic, body-hugging skinny jean available in an exclusive snakeskin print and jet black.

The Pattie is a slim-cut trouser in dark indigo. Both the Arina and The Pattie feature Burrows' signature contrasting red topstitching and antique pewter hardware.

The collection also includes high-waisted denim shorts called Grace, a tribute to the legendary Grace Jones, and a cropped, body-conscious black denim jacket with contrasting red stitching named Alva, for longtime Burrows model Alva Chin. Two red merino wool sweaters-one short and one long complete the collection with their bold color and exaggerated cable knit. Stephen Burrows for Raven Denim retail prices will range from $165-$218.

Also at the show were Burrow's sensuous knits. No one designs knits better than Burrows.

For these dresses and gowns, his inspiration was the chevron pattern, sewing zigzagged pieces in contrasting colors together.

His red gown closed the show. It was nice to see some old fashion friends there, such as Audrey Smaltz, Beth Ann Hardison, designer Jeffrey Banks, Ruth Finley and famed actor and male model Rene White.

Launched in 2004, Raven Denim has a major following for its tailored silhouettes and spectacular fit. Fans include Halle Berry, Megan Fox, Sandra Bullock, Fergie, Josh Duhamel and Bradley Cooper, among others.

Burrows began designing in 1966 after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology. A New York icon, Burrows was the first African-American designer to receive international acclaim and is considered an industry legend for his work in jersey knits. In his 40th anniversary year, he was honored with the city's Board of Directors Special Tribute Award.

The Museum of the City of New York has announced Burrows retrospective for early 2013. "Stephen Burrows: A Retrospective" will be the first major museum exhibition on the career of the influential American fashion designer.

The landmark show will debut in early 2013. It will explore the life story, creative output and historical significance of the three-time Coty

Award-winning fashion designer, who was praised by Halston as "one of the unrecognized geniuses of the fashion world."

In the 1970s, Burrows helped create the look that defined the downtown scene of the era and has continued to influence fashion ever since. The exhibition will highlight his design innovations and the multiple twists of his career, from his early triumph at Bendel in 1970 to his triumphant return to fashion in the new century.