A black cashmere bodysuit shown against a backdrop of the New York City skyline by night. That’s how Donna Karan opened her fall show, drawing a direct line from her first collection, 20 years ago, right up to the present. That scrap of jersey kick-started Karan’s empire and changed the way women thought about power dressing, while the energy of the city was refracted in her thoroughly modern clothes. Two decades later, she’s still guided by the same twin stars.

The designer replaced the heated sensuality of her spring collection with a moody remoteness, reinforced by the sober palette: plum, brown, rust, ocher yellow, and chartreuse. She played that out in soft cashmere and wool jerseys, silk tulle, burnt-out velvets, and wool bouclé, often topped with little twisted fur neckpieces. Snug jersey dresses were inventively wrapped and frequently anchored by glass buckles courtesy of jeweler William Morris. Karan’s sportswear, as always, looked light enough to float, while the raw seams and rugged leathers added a gloss of dark charm. Evening dresses incorporating suede, cashmere, and velvet seemed more suited to a salon than a soirée, but Karan’s gold-sequin and tulle gown could light up the night all by itself.