There are some things for me that are just quintessentially New York. One of them is bagels (which I am eating here) another is Donna Karan. One of a handful of women designers and heads of houses (her few peers include Diane von Furstenberg and Vivienne Westwood) she incorporated the New York city vibe in her clothes and in her branding. She offered all black collections with easy drapes and comfortable jerseys. Her clothes were unfussy, minimalist yet elegant and chic. I adored and wore endlessly her bodysuits. She designed for an urban woman who worked, had a family yet wanted to be fashionable and feminine. With her DKNY line she was one of the first mainstream designers to embrace streetwear, introducing leggings and oversize t’s as something one could actually wear when leaving the house and going downtown to play.
Last year, Donna Karan announced she would be stepping down from DKNY and Public School’s Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, whose line is heavily influenced by streetwear, would be stepping in as creative directors for the line. How they have carried on the tradition is another example of what can happen when a new perspective is applied to what has been unarguably iconic. The review of the first collection post-Donna (Spring 2016) indicated a great deal of respect by the duo, but with the way they play with shirting, mens fabrics (as did she), tailoring and deconstruction it was clear they have added a new “perspective” to her iconic New York look. As I headed downtown to play and get the best bagel ever I am wearing their white poplin shirtdress.
See the Spring/Summer 2016 DKNY collection here and let me know what you think of the new direction.