A beauty! Donna Karan at her loveliest, surest, most controlled and, in a way, most true to her own point-counterpoint shtick, articulated for spring the marriage of “the emotion and freedom of nature with the sophisticated life we live in the city.” She might have pared down the verbiage to the marriage of gentleness with strength, and of polish with comfort, as this collection epitomized such unions to near perfection. 


Karan and jackets go way back. Here, she took an artful approach, working in moody neutrals for fabrics that looked lived-in and mysteriously nondescript: any number of stony, sandy grays and a deep sky blue faded to slate. These were cut into the stuff of authoritative chic: a pumice stretch jacket over a stretch taffeta body skirt; an ultrasoft burlap jacket belted over a gauzy skirt. Dresses came lean and belted in washed linen, or in glorious goddess-by-day jerseys. For variety, organza provided structure of the most ethereal sort, while shots of blush, coral and red jolted the palette. And occasionally, glorious Stephen Jones picture hats drove home the mood of knowing romance.


The splendor continued into evening, even if one gown, (number 39, a silk satin devoré), looked like a stowaway from several seasons ago — though it was still a pretty dress. But the stunner of the lot was a languid affair that Donna cut from a stretch of chalk white crepe jersey for a calm that roared.

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