There were lots of soft sweaters, too, like a charcoal "funnel sweater" paired with a crochet skirt of the same color. A charcoal sweater-coat looked deliciously big and warm — one envied the model who got to wear it on such a cold evening.
The rivalry stayed on the catwalk when new judge, Zac Posen, met previous judge, Michael Kors.
Kors, acting as a guest panelist, Posen, Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia were one big happy family when they took their seats to watch the collections of this season's contestants. (Kors and Klum joked they've spent so much time together over the years that they now look like brother and sister.)
"I didn't call Zac with any tips before he started. He knows what he's doing," Kors said. "I knew I was leaving it in very capable hands."
Chiming in, Posen added: "I had 10 seasons to watch Michael, and I had been a guest judge with him. I'm sure I learned a few things."
The show is the godmother of fashion reality TV, now in its 11th season. It was time for a change, said Klum, who is an executive producer.
The other new wrinkle this go-around is that the contestants have been working in teams — and they are not necessarily happy about it, Klum said.
CARMEN MARC VALVO
Valvo's tell-tale heart drew him to Edgar Allan Poe for inspiration.
"I was thinking long, lean, moody and dark," the designer said backstage. "Edgar Allan Poe. Creatures of the night. With a little rock 'n' roll, too."
The show featured some stunning gowns in ivory, grape and merlot, but most creations were in black. Valvo said he was so taken with black this season that he almost did the entire collection in it. "It really makes you focus on the structure and the detailing, to make sure each dress is different," he explained.