Giant posters, emblazoned with witty New York-centric wordplays by illustrator Monsieur Cabinet, greeted guests upon arrival at DKNY. “Long Live the Queens,” “Mad Is On,” “All Hail the Cab,” and “Big Apple of My Eye,” they read in bright vivid hues. All signals indicated a fun, kicky ride — which the show absolutely was. Of course, like any good designer, Donna Karan knows the value of building momentum. Thus, she started off with a chic tailoring story: snappy twill coats, a sleeveless trench dress, and slim skirts in a practical palette of khaki, black and navy. Jackets, some with peplum waists, were worn tied around the waist, Nineties-style; the effect was street-smart sophisticate.
Providing the feminine counterpoint here were ruffles (down a lapel; in tiers on a frilly skirt), a motif that continued full-bloom in the playful, second half, whether trimming an electric blue maillot or cascading down the sides of a bright, floral-print dress. The season’s other big theme: patterned silk scarves. They were jauntily tied around necks and cut into loose, easy blouses. And if the takeaway here was a slightly French-ified vision of New York dressing, so what? Going global is the new black.