Every season, Tome designers Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo choose as their muse some strong woman; their first time presenting in New York, for instance, they called upon the spirit of Georgia O’Keeffe. This time out, the duo commingled the influence of not one but two creative pioneers: the Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and—holy moly—Donna Karan. At first blush, the combo was a bit of a head-scratcher. But, as Lobo and Martin pointed out before their show today, Karan and De Keersmaeker came to prominence at about the same time, in the mid-’80s, and both of them are consummately woman-focused in their work. Indeed, you could go a step further and note that Karan—a nervy choice of inspiration, and the major influence on this collection—has always been concerned with the choreography of a modern woman’s life, the tricky dance between work and family and the sundry other things that count toward self-fulfillment.

So that was the stuff on the mood board. And what about the clothes? Consideration of Karan’s approach and aesthetic signatures, such as jersey, bias cuts, camel coats, and banker’s stripes, seemed to steer Lobo and Martin toward daywear. And their looks for day struck a great tone. Shirt- and coatdresses—the latter worn over lean trousers—looked polished yet unfussy; ditto the mixed pinstripe looks, which spun a Karan signature in a new, idiomatically Tome-ish direction. Lobo and Martin’s geometric takes on Karan’s camel coat, meanwhile, stood out as hands down the crispest pieces in the collection. Women will snap them up. And they’ll have a hankering for the squared-off jackets in shiny PVC, which looked especially sharp over the designers’ diaphanous bias-cut silk dresses.

There were a ton of strong ideas here, including the elongated turtlenecks worn over lace pencil skirts, and the metallic separates that made up much of the eveningwear. Those dressier looks kind of snuck up on you: In a welcome shift, Lobo and Martin favored a casual mien for night, one summed up in the deceptively prim, show-closing little black frock. The dress had a dancer’s movement and was decorous enough to wear to the office, but an open back and a steep slit sexed things up plenty. The influences of both Karan and De Keersmaeker distilled into a single gesture. Homage paid.

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