When Donna Karan launched DKNY
in 1989, its streetwise, fast-fashion ideas were a welcome innovation. Now, going on the ripe old age of 21, it's the grand ma'am of a slew of secondary and contemporary collections. Yet DKNY's raison d'être remains a youthful New York state of mind. There's evidence of that in the way the collection has been shown in the past: in breezy presentation format, cleverly bopping around the city from Pastis to Lever House to the Karan-owned Stephan Weiss Studio. Today we were back at the latter, but this time the designer had opted for a proper seated runway show, and that inevitably raised the question of whether the pomp befits these clothes. Named City in Bloom, Karan's collection played neutrals off a host of florals, including charming little peonies and splashy floral-camo and -graffiti prints that were decidedly less so. There were endless propositions of the suit: boyfriend jackets paired with little cuffed shorts or slouchy pegged pants—even a silk bomber with matching sweatpants. Biker shorts, strangely named Smoothies, were worn under every dress and short. Runway worthy? Perhaps not, but it was certainly filled with items that might make great additions to any girl's rotation. You could easily envision a model nicking a fab little sage silk romper to hit her go-sees. Here's one idea: Why not ask those model fans to style their own outfits? It's an approach that would be more in line with the DKNY spirit.