Donna Karan is among the designers who appear in CNN’s new original series, “American Style,” which will air Jan. 13 and Jan. 20, with back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., ET.
The four-part docuseries features archival footage and interviews with Karan, along with Tim Gunn, Carson Kressley, Vanessa Williams, Beverly Johnson, Isaac Mizrahi, Jeffrey Banks, Christie Brinkley, John Varvatos and Diane von Furstenberg, among others.
In one of the episodes, Karan talks about how when she began working, clothes were suits, shirts and ties, and she created the idea of “Seven Easy Pieces,” beginning with the bodysuit. The show examines how America’s changing style through the decades has mirrored the political, social and economic climate of the time. The series, which also touts First Ladies Jacqueline Kennedy, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump, highlights the most iconic moments from fashion and pop culture.
The premiere episode explores style in the Forties and Fifties, how World War II and Hollywood helped create America’s own fashion identity, and the introduction of new trends such as the bikini, Zoot suit, shoulder pads, and the white tee as popularized by James Dean. The second episode tackles the style of the Sixties and Seventies as the youth culture comes into its own and fashion takes an extreme turn with looks such as miniskirts, the wrap dress, disco attire and all-black clothing as worn by the Black Panther Party. The remaining two episodes examine the history and style of the Eighties, Nineties and Aughts, and the rise of the supermodels with Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss becoming household names and styles such as grunge and heroin chic. While Karan is mostly in episodes two and three, she provides commentary throughout the series.
The docuseries is produced by Vox Entertainment in collaboration with Doc Shop Productions.