If you’ve read this site before, you’re aware of my longtime love for designer Donna Karan. Strong, creative, a powerhouse of a woman that designs clothes that make your life easier and your body look better than ever. I love designers who really love women, and Donna is our biggest fan.
I’ve told the story before of my first trip to New York City as a teenager, where I disappeared from my fellow honor band mates (yep, I was a band geek as a kid – a drummer, to be exact) to see if I could meet Donna Karan.
DKNY had launched and I knew it was at Bloomingdales, so I escaped my fellow teenagers (because no one could get this deep devotion to fashion I had…this was high fashion, not mall shopping) and proceed to plant myself at the flagship’s DKNY section….for three hours. I was almost arrested for loitering. Salespeople kept trying to tell me she didn’t actually work there, but I was undeterred.
“She’ll be here,” I said with confidence.
Well, clearly the salespeople know what they’re talking about. My mother came to retrieve me and we both purchased one of these amazing t-shirts, based on the old personal ads that used to appear in the paper. My mom said, “You can wear the t-shirt someday when you meet her.” I’ve been panicked ever since that I wouldn’t be able to find the t-shirt for that special day.
Although, I’m not sure I want to be that person. As Jeremy Piven once said in PCD, “You’re wearing the t-shirt of the band you’re going to see. Don’t be that guy.”
But, when I went home for my college reunion in April, I did some digging and found my beloved t-shirt, folded neatly among some other treasures. So, someday I may be that girl. Maybe I’ll meet her someday and then I can tell her what her work has meant to me. But until that day, I’ll just rock my t-shirt in honor of my teenage dreams.
The cool thing about old t-shirts, especially ones that are this special, is that you can reimagine them in a billion different ways. I took a Patti Smith route, with a boyfriend blazer and waxed skinnies. A medallion added just a touch of interest under my shaggy hair (I’m cultivating this haircut to look like Eddie Van Halen circa 1983 on command) and then the pop of color at the feet makes sure that the whole thing doesn’t look like I’m in mourning.
It’s a fine, fine thing to hold onto good memories like this. Don’t let go of the good things, particularly items that make your heart sing. I love this look. It’s like wrapping all my teenage hopes and dreams in a giant hug of adult experience and style savvy. Donna, wherever you are, this one’s for you.
What I’m Wearing: Vintage DKNY T-shirt (no longer available, but check out re-issued styles in their Opening Ceremony capsule collection,) H&M Blazer, AG Adriano Goldschmeid Coated Leggings in Leatherette Black, Nine West Martina pumps, Ranjana Khan necklace (no longer available, similar styles here.)