The Donna Karan New York invitation is one that I sort of get antsy about each season. Because of my lifelong admiration for her and the fact that an invitation to such a show is rare, it’s an honor to get to see it. I’m thrilled that I got another chance to see it again this season.
When you walked into Cedar Lake, it had completely transformed overnight from the vividly-hued DKNY presentation from the night before. It was sultry, sleek and sculptural, a return to the gilded bronze and smoke hues from the 90’s. I imagine it was like stepping back in time within the mind of Donna Karan, a trip to the DNA of what made the line so incredibly powerful – that smoke-and-fire-wrapped-in-cashmere spirit of the brand that made it the favorite of strong women everywhere. In the center of the runway was a sculptural bronze curvature from where the models would emerge. I knew immediately that it was an homage to Donna’s late husband, the sculptor Stephan Weiss, who used to erect such organic forms. For me, at least, it was a very subtle but private moment we were about to witness, one that made me excited for the clothes that would emerge.
I wasn’t disappointed. I am a fan of Donna Karan, I love the clothes, but this collection is – hands down – my favorite one that I have ever seen. It was everything I love about the brand: sensual fabrics, body-conscious and reverent of the female form in all its incarnations, soulful in the color palette (bronze, smoke, copper, a deep sanguine burnt scarlet) and incredibly wearable. The return of what made the brand what it was – Donna’s seven easy pieces concept – was evolved into a collection that was incredibly covetable. Let me put it to you this way – the models didn’t just walk the runway at this collection, the clothes were so good they seemed to leave a trail of fire.
People can say what they want about the editor’s eye and of the ability of those of us in the online space to be critical, that somehow we may not be as credible because we’re fans rather than trained critics. That may be so, but from my vantage point and sitting in my seat, I know myself and I know exactly what I like. This collection, with its swathing of the female form in what looked like the elements of fire-forged sculpture mixed with female sensuality, was exactly what I love about fashion. It was a celebration of everything I love about really good clothes, a kindling of the desire to possess the sensuality contained within them.
This collection, Donna Karan, was a triumph. Exquisitely done. Bravo, friend.
You can see the collection in the slideshow below. Let me know which one is your favorite. I can’t decide.