"This is the way people should see clothes," said Donna Karan, as she surveyed the happy crowd milling on a sunny Sunday morning through Pastis. Karan took over the Meatpacking District hot spot to showcase her DKNY spring collection in situ, as it were; the perennially trendy bistro is precisely where her customer would want to flaunt these urban-hipster looks.

Instead of looking to reinvent the wheel with DKNY, Karan is more interested in playing with street trends like vintage, layering, and rule breaking (sequins for day, khaki for night, stilettos at noon, and so on). So the refurbished vintage mannequins installed around the restaurant wore silk georgette dresses with sequin belts, embroidered linen coats with tank tops and cropped jeans, snug little jackets over long jersey camisoles and knee-length linen skirts, and slouchy silk off-the-shoulder blouses over narrow cotton shorts. It all had the kind of throw-it-on cool a fashion stylist might achieve after much patient digging through thrift store bins and racks; Karan's talent is that she makes it accessible to those who are style-ambitious but time-starved. Or, as she puts it, "It's friendly. It's the way New Yorkers dress today. Everything goes with a pair of jeans."