Donna Karan's fall show was proof that there's no place like home. After breaking her leg in a skiing accident earlier this winter in Utah, the peripatetic designer returned to New York City with renewed focus, and it came through in her confident, sexy collection, which she called Manhattan Rush.
The show started with a pinstripe suit, but Karan's definition of power dressing has never been about sharp angles. A deft draper, she manipulated the stretch-wool fabric into origami flowers that graced the neckline of an off-the-shoulder jacket and the hip of a slender skirt. The rosette motif decorated a puff-skirt strapless dress, too, and lent it a hand-touched feeling. Karan played with proportion, building shirts, coats, and capelets in layers, and warded off the winter chill with hoods in iridescent taffeta; hats, the taller the better; and turned-up collars on an Elizabethan scale.
Stretch-silk goddess gowns were tricked out with too many straps and worn with frowsy, distracting gloves. In contrast, her strongest evening pieces, full-skirt jewel-tone chiffon and taffeta numbers, had the sculpted look of her daywear. And when it came time to take a well-deserved bow, Karan didn't let her broken leg stop her. Talk about the power of a woman.