Donna Karan’s back on track. She’s had a rough year, but now, with her financing in place and her new DKNY store in London exceeding projections, she’s got her confidence back in bushels. And that couldn’t have been more apparent in the collection she showed on Friday to close the New York shows.
Karan had called this “a very signature collection. It’s all about the bust thing, about a jacket over bareness.” And bare it was, based on sexy, sultry lingerie looks. These were cut in satin, crepe or lightweight wool tweed, often edged in lace, and took on a smart attitude under chic, shapely jackets. Since Karan is crazy about dresses, she often opted for full slips, cut to the knee and constructed with just the right curves and fit. But there were plenty of half slips as well, shown with bras or bustiers that were racy but right. The tailored pieces looked great. Jackets were cut with multiple seams and fitted over a bra, making a curvy silhouette that’s in step with the glamour mood of the moment. But while Donna nipped waists, boned and beefed up the padding, she avoided the pitfall of costuminess and never resorted to overt retro-mania.
Karan’s runway delivered a dual color message: black, which she said looks right again after a fall of so much color, and nude, which helped play the bareness card for all it was worth.
At night, Donna didn’t just give them the slip. In her nude-toned finale, she touched on the strapless and one-shoulder trends, and sent out one of the prettiest dance dresses around, a matte jersey halter with a graceful mid-calf skirt.

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