DONNA’S EASTERN SLANT

DONNA KARAN: Donna Karan is on the road again — and it has nothing to do with a stock offering. She closed the New York season with a fabulous collection inspired by her trip to Southeast Asia, where she was mesmerized by “the groundedness, the connection to the earth.”
Karan’s conversation is filled with such phrases, but Donna seems a whole lot more resolved now than a few seasons ago, when her ongoing personal journeys led to an uncharacteristically dour collection. For spring she has apparently settled the conflict between her own inner searches and her customer’s desire for strong, sexy clothes. Now Karan speaks of “primal sensuality,” and while there was certainly an Eastern tribal flavor at work, there were also many themes evolved from her spectacular fall collection. “My whole world is finally coming together,” she said. “It’s such an emotional experience and high.” It certainly was for retailers, who couldn’t stop raving.
Spring starts with a long, lean silhouette, rich, evocative fabrics and an earthy palette — indigos, flesh tones, bronzes. Provocative jersey is central, worked into shapes that stretch and swirl around the body in asymmetric configurations, sometimes tucked, faggotted or inset with strips of sheer fabrics.
Karan didn’t ignore the suit, however, and sent it out not only in traditional tailored and mandarin shapes, but in sleek stretch jersey versions with wide pants and wrapped tunic jackets that were one-sleeved, one-shouldered, slit at one side or otherwise asymmetric. While some were too tricked up, others worked quite well.
For evening, Karan loves the idea of skin emerging and receding from beneath various textures. She showed burnout satins, a spectacular celadon sweaterdress
hand-crocheted with chips of jade, and she continued fall’s glamorous devore velvets. Back then they evoked a Classical goddess, now the mood is slightly more raw — just perfect for a New Age Earth Mother sexpot.

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