'50 Shades' of New York Fashion Week

(Image credit: Richard Drew/AP Photo)

Spring fashion is usually about subtle colors, soft fabrics and florals. Leather harnesses and lace pieces were seen on the runways at New York Fashion Week, sparking the question: "Have Christian Grey and Ana Steele inspired a fashion phenomenon?"

At BCBG Max Azria, the "50 Shades" trend couldn't have been more obvious, with leather harnesses attached to crepe feminine dresses.

Designers Lubov and Max Azria described the collection as "fluid silhouettes, elongated proportions and weightless fabrics" that "embody the seductive allure of the season."

"I spoke with Lubov before the show, and she specifically referenced '50 Shades of Grey'," said Maren Hartman, Content Director-East Coast of trend prediction company WGSN. "She said, 'You know, this whole thing about sexuality and femininity and this film noir thing if you look at the BCBG show it's this combination again of masculine and feminine.'"

NY Fashion Week Trends Slideshow: '50 Shades of Grey'

"She had these lace inset, very feminine silhouettes and then they were matched back to leather harnesses. Obviously a reference to the naughty and nice thing that she had going on. And she also had that at Herve Leger," said Hartman. "The pendulum swung a bit into this feminine sexy thing as well."

In addition to Herve Leger, popular designer Jason Wu touched upon the "50 Shades" trend with a black lace, leather and a very sexy tailored collection.

Short hemlines and bra and corset tops were some of the clothes seen at Jason Wu. Models wore a bold red lip with slicked back hair.

Tough romanticism is one way Elle Creative Director Joe Zee described the trend he's been seeing on the runway.

"I think we saw hints of that tough romanticism in fall/winter, sort of creeping into spring. I think what we're seeing a lot of is that people are leaving color behind and doing black and white and I think that in and of itself lends to a little bit more of a tougher attitude which I think feels refreshing right now."

"I think of something like spring which is a much more lighter season done with a tougher stance like black," said Zee.

For spring 2013, it seems like the best-selling book has made its way from the bedroom to the runway.

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