Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Raw Romance- Donna Karan

The S/S '11 collection, from feted 'city girl' designer Donna Karan, was a departure from her usual pared down minimalism, and chic work attire. Celebrating 25 years in the industry, Karan proves that to evolve is to survive, with a collection that is a far cry from her debut 'Seven Easy Pieces', and perhaps just as remarkable.

Karan utilised a neutral palette of cream, taupe and greige, which communicates perfectly the desolate, tribal and distressed edge to her collection; presented on a catwalk of rough sand, the models looked like stranded city girls striding out of the desert. The crushed raw silk, cut on the bias to hug the curves of the body and fall in a loose, languid manner, was sometimes screen printed with contour lines in ochre or plum, sometimes embellished with rough- edged crystals or bugle beads. Translucent chiffon made an appearance, and contrasted texturally with rough twill fabrics, perhaps to emphasise the savage effect of nature on man made items.

This collection, with echoes of 'safari chic' without the jodhpurs, plays romantic silk and organza dresses- draped, embellished and often slit to the thigh- off with utility style crushed jackets and pencil skirts. A very distinct departure for the designer known for black, chicly tailored separates and a clientèle consisting of the unmistakable NYC career girl. Whether this interpretation of dishevelled luxury will be suitable for an office environment is debatable; what is certain is that it would be that same girl striding out of desert, calling for her BlackBerry.

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