"I really feel it's all about the coats," said Joe Zee, creative director of Elle magazine, about the outer garments' starring role on runways all over town during New York Fashion Week.

And not just any coats, said Zee. "Out of the ashes of the recession, we're creeping more towards a brazen return to luxury. There's a new strength and vitality and a real military influence, which I like," said Zee. But, he added, even with a slew of other trends, "If it comes down to one thing, coats are the statement makers of the season."

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So what did we see? Standouts included a blown out multicolor animal print at Tracy Reese, lush alpaca at Marc Jacobs, classics peacoats at Michael Kors, a strong, officer coat at Prabal Gurung, curly shearlings at Donna Karan, stylized drop-waisted numbers at Alexander Wang, and striking leather trenchcoats at Calvin Klein.

Stay warm. (You will.)