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April 16 2014

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Donna Karan Dishes at “Fashion Talks”

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At last night’s opening installment of the French Institute Alliance Française “Fashion Talks” series, Donna Karan, the evening’s featured speaker (Catherine Malandrino and Diane von Furstenberg will round out the cycle), shared a few facts about herself the audience might not have known otherwise. The story of Karan’s first fashion show as a Long Island high schooler is the stuff of fashion lore. The fact that she failed draping class while studying at Parsons? Not common knowledge. But perhaps Karan’s biggest reveal had to do with the lack of a certain signature non-color in her Fall presentation next week. “This season I’m not showing a lot of black,” Karan said. “But,” she paused before reassuring, “everything will be available in black.” Phew. During her conversation with Musée de la Mode curator Pamela Golbin, the designer emphasized the importance of thinking collectively, i.e., not trying to go it all alone as a designer and businesswoman—sage words for young designers facing a troubled economy. Another piece of fashion savvy: Sort your mail. Karan copped to opening every envelope she received with her name on it when her business started—they were addressed to her, after all. But she was careful not to let all the postal service love go to her head. “That’s why I did the ‘New York,’” Karan explained of her designer moniker. “I never wanted it to be about me.”

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