DKNY; What’s Going On?

Donna Karan is well-known for her interest in African tribal imagery, as well as the imagery offered up by the city of New York, the ultimate urban jungle. This season, she seemed to be more focused on the latter, even entitling her collection “New York Nation,” and she opened with a video montage with a voiceover stating “I love New York. I’m a New Yorker. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

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“The whole thing is about the electricity of the city and of the street,” Karan said. “The lights, the art, the energy;” and “energy” is perhaps the key word here. Prints are bold and geometric, fabrics have a sport, “on-the-go” feel, and the colour palette pulsates with brightness and life; a “vibrant spring mosaic,” as Karan herself called it.

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Patterns, patterns everywhere, from chunky boyfriend knits to the short skirts, worn over midi skirts to create a crazy, peplum-like effect. Sneakers were back, big-time, with striped platforms and hi-tops born of a collaboration between Karan and New York sneaker brand, Pony.

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The show notes called the collection “multicolored, multicultural, multitasking,” and there certainly is something in this collection to suit almost everyone’s daily needs. Each piece is clearly a riot of pattern and colour, but somehow it all fits together; you might get a few stares on the bus, but what’s wrong with a bit of colour clashing?

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The final few looks provided a nice palette cleanser, with refreshingly clean black and white ensembles. A beautiful set of designs from Donna Karan, and one which captures the indomitable spirit and diversity of New York City.

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