Donna Karan went back to the archives for her fall inspirations. Bodysuits and leggingsboth elements of the Seven Easy Pieces equation that launched her brand 20-plus years agoformed a kind of backbone for the collection, from which tulip skirts and similarly full dresses and coats could bloom. The show wasn't all about proportion-play; in a stretch-silk tuxedo jacket and stretch-wool trousers, the model Vlada looked as if she could slip through the cracks in the sidewalk. But this, and a few other exits like it, seemed little more than concessions to the current craze for pantsuits. Karan's real passion is for dresseswhen was the last time you saw the designer in anything else?
Last season's tenting freefall dresses made appearances here, but they were reworked so that the fabric draped from the shoulders to reveal the sash in back. Thanks to bodysuits with trompe l'oeil bodices, and nipped-waist sheaths with net insets, there was yet more flesh on display. Provocative, yes, but perfectly tasteful, and the former, at least, won't likely make it to stores without linings anyway. What will arrive unchanged is Karan's outerwear. A gold leather trench with extra-wide lapels and an hourglass white alpaca with a funnel neck were both memorable, but the standout was a coat made from thousands of tiny leather paillettes.