“Time to show your colors and paint the town with urban chic,” Donna Karan’s show notes declared. The designer was looking at art this season—street art in particular. There were shades of Jean-Michel Basquiat in the scribbled doodle print of a structured bra top and high-waisted pants, and echoes of a certain influential Paris collection (inescapable this week) in the brushstrokes on a V-front dress. In the age of Instagram, everything is up for grabs, available for our repurposing. But in any case, this was one of Karan’s most vital collections in a while: vibrant, uncomplicated, desirable.
The fact that the silhouettes looked fresh was key. Karan invented bodysuit dressing back in the day, and her new bra tops were particularly convincing. Elsewhere, belted shirtdresses had an offhand ease, and even the wiggle skirts registered low key when paired with rolled-sleeve, popped-collar camp shirts. But really, it was the prints and embroideries—in shades of black, ivory, red, and indigo—that were the stars here. Well, the prints and those towering straw hats. Karlie Kloss must’ve topped 7 feet in hers. Pharrell Williams’ stylist has no doubt already made an inquiry. The collection’s must-have piece: a “billboard coat,” as the notes described it, swirling with painterly scribbles and graffiti.