First, let's acknowledge the counterintuitive reality that DKNY—a label whose acronym is weighted toward New York—now shows in London. To further reinforce the disconnect, today's presentation opened with a short black-and-white film about Manhattan upholding its status as the pulsing heart of individualism and cool. Designers might be based in one city and show in another, but this mega-brand is as much the product of its geographic attitude as the vision of its founder. If the Yankees palette was a subtle hint that the label still recognizes its roots, the shirts cut and trimmed like baseball jerseys rammed home the message. For design director Garry Martin, these functioned as the collection's base layer, allowing him to spotlight an array of other options. With activewear driving form and advanced fabrics (smoked rubber, techno jersey) driving function, Martin delivered a largely streamlined grouping that, unlike the typical New Yorker, did not reveal its full personality until closer inspection of the details.There were original logo sweatshirts; the tone-on-tone white neoprene lettering had either been embroidered, bonded, or heat-pressed. Magnetic closures seemed designed for busy individuals. In parachute cotton, the front-pleated, slightly cropped trousers conveyed how easy it can be to update classics. Unlined jackets—most with white seaming like street markings—offered a level of hidden detailing inside unlined suiting that men tend to appreciate first and show off later. "Commuter" coats with removable zip panels met the need for day-to-night outerwear.
All in all, it was the type of collection that does not change much runway to retail. But how to account for the overall lack of energy? Not even Jude Law's son Rafferty, nor any of the other "real" models (ahem, artists) provided a boost in character. Martin insisted that the line expresses a way of dressing for all cities, not just Manhattan. And while this may be true, DKNY seemed homesick to some degree. Baseball doesn't translate as well across the pond.