After several seasons showing DKNY in the restaurant du jourPastis, Lever HouseDonna Karan brought her secondary line back to the runway for fall, specifically to her late husband Stephan Weiss' Greenwich Street studio, the location of her signature-collection shows. She didn't give in to convention entirely, because there was no assigned seating, which caused more than a few gripes. Most people, though, were delighted with the change in venue. "It's brilliant to see the clothes moving on a body," concluded one editor. Karan, who watched the show from the bleachers, demurred: "Brilliant, I don't know. But a runway show is what everyone's been asking for."
Of course, DKNY is about giving the people what they want, and Karan has paid close attention to the young urban woman's current uniform. Hence, the presence of such cool accessories as wide, waist-cinching belts, opaque tights, engineer caps, and silk ribbons to tie around the neck. From there, she explored masculine/feminine juxtapositions like peacoats and boyfriend sweaters paired with flippy bubble minis or a puff-sleeve blouse teamed with a man's vest and gauchos. When the looks weren't monochromatic in deep shades of navy, chocolate, and black, colors were thrown together with schoolgirl naiveté. Those "spontaneous" combinations seemed like a concession to the catwalk, not something that would necessarily fly in real life. That's where Karan's crinkle-silk dresses, some tissue-padded for extra volume, came in. Layer one over a little tank or top it with a shrunken cardigan and you're out the door.