DONNA KARAN AW15’16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
Donna Karan’s whole career has been a love letter to New York. Rarely a season goes by that she doesn’t call it out as an inspiration, but for Fall she made the point explicitly, using the nighttime skyline as a backdrop for the runway, and making the blacks and grays of the buildings and the glinting golds of their lights her show’s central colors. Perched on platform sandals or boots, the collection’s long, lean silhouette owed something to the city’s new class of super-scrapers. New York is tall and getting taller. It’s a melting pot, too. Obi-like belts and origami folds on the one hand and opulent, burnished brocades on the other conveyed something of its multicultural glamour.
Depending on the season, Karan shifts between tailoring and dresses. This collection was mostly built on the former. All manner of jackets, from blazers to a leather bomber, were belted at the midriff above tapering trousers or narrow skirts. Karan understands outerwear better than most designers. Keeping you warm, which her long-haired shearling-lined brocade number will surely do, is only half of the mission. The other part of the job—making a statement, polishing off a look—is just as essential. Which is where a gold coat with rich black embroidery on its back came in. A boxy white poplin shirt and a tiered, partly sheer black skirt was a straightforward and chic proposition with its extra-wide obi belt, but Karan’s most novel idea for day eschewed structure in favor of layers of jersey knit: bustier over clingy top over slim pants.
Her evening dresses had a similarly modern spirit. Bare-shouldered in the signature Donna way, the black gowns folded and tucked, exposing sheer panels here and there, but didn’t end up looking fussy. They were actually quite sleek.