NEW YORK — For the 25th anniversary of her DKNY collection, Donna Karan has returned to her wonder years. The designer pumped up the volume at her runway show with Beastie Boys music ("(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party)," is all all-time great anthem), reflecting the late 1980s when she first launched her collection of urban, casual clothes.
Boy, was she ahead of the curve.
For spring 2014, many of Karan's greatest hits are on display, updated with techno-fabrics and combinations that weren't even thought of back then.
For spring 2014, many of Karan's greatest hits are on display, updated with techno-fabrics and combinations (terrycloth track pants with tulle inserts) that weren't even thought of back then.
Karan opens with denim overalls, both long and short versions, with crisp boyfriend blazers, and denim jeans and jackets festooned with decals. Then she moves on to bandana-print frocks, colorful neoprene dresses with flared skirts and tank dresses made of parachute fabrics. Riffs on the classic trench coat — a skirt that looks like a khaki trench wrapped at the waist and a sheer black silk trench dress with built-in bodysuit — are particularly inspired.
Bodysuits, track pants and parkas all scream out with bold DKNY logos in black-and white before Karan ends with three slinky long V-neck gowns, famously called "the naked dress" because there's not much there (it's a modern take on the look Karan first popularized for the Carrie Bradshaw character in Sex and the City in the '90s).
A big surprise occurred at the end of the show when singer Rita Ora appeared on the runway. In a DKNY logo-blouse and flared skirt, she ran her fingers through her hair a bit too much like she imagined it must have been like to have lived in Karan's formative design years. But she still looks like a girl who wants to have fun.