The buzz surrounding the New York collections, was primarily focused on the hip set of young designers, whose upstart collections are slowly but surely reinvigorating American fashion. Granted, everyone waited with baited breath to see what outlandish creations would show up at Rodarte, Proenza and their ilk but the establishment still has something worth offering. Case in point, Donna Karan’s parade of ultra-sleek, jet black ensembles that took her woman (there is no such thing as a Donna Karan girl – the ingenues can head over to the kiddie table at DKNY) into tough new territory.

Given the very Parisian flourishes: ruffled collars, coats billowing with volume and a gloves fit for a night of opera (or bondage club, depending on who you ask), some might call this collection, Lanvin-lite. There are definitely similarities between this collection and Alber Elbaz’s work (even a touch of Stefano Pilati, given the bleak color palate and glossy headbands) but Donna has her own point of view that drives the looks forward. There is always a hint of pragmatism that comes with a woman designing: even the most work ready looks have a touch of elegance that can bring them into evening, the shoes are high but never perilous and the tailored silhouettes never fail to flatter. Other designers could learn a thing or two from Ms. Karan about how to make their customers look good.

Speaking of looking good, the eveningwear this season was a pitch perfect representation of Karan’s easy glamour. We need only wait a few more days to see just who shows up at the Oscars in that black gown that looked flawless on Sigrid Agren.

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