Donna Karan's new corporate culture may be Frenchher company is now part of the French luxury-goods conglomerate LVMHbut her heart belongs to NYC. And her Fall collection, shown to a small audience (including her new boss, LVMH head Bernard Arnault) was a love poem to her hometown. She even named it "Manhattan Blues."
New York can be chilly in the winter, and Karan, who loves dramatic outerwear, provided plenty of coats to choose from. The show started with a gorgeous, glistening calf number, continued through a great napa-leather trench, and closed with a cozy ivory cashmere jacquard. Next to the body, meanwhile, the designer likes a soft, silky layerhence her series of sexy, body-skimming skirts and dresses. These were constructed from an elegant patchwork of wool and silk jerseys, satin, georgette and velvet, sometimes all in the same dress. And as if to protect her customers from the city's harder edges, Karan showed cozy oversize cashmere knit pieces made for sinking into. Even her suitsthere were a few short jackets paired with slim trouserswere cut on the bias to make movement easy, and had a bit of soft fringe hanging off the arm.
After the soft and sexy feel of her daywear, the unexpected glitz of some of Karan's evening pieces felt out of sync, especially in some of the odd appliqués. Overall, though, this was a collection guaranteed to chase the blues away.