NYFW S/S '11 report: DONNA KARAN

14 September 2010

Dresses, dresses, dresses.....and each one prettier than the last. At Donna Karan the catwalk was a hymn to her. Pale creamy beiges, cosmetic pinks, powdery nudes and every so often a sprinkling of antique silver summed up the message here. Willowy beauties wafted along a sand-covered runway in high-heeled espadrilles or flat gladiators. Fabrics were uncompromisingly feminine: chiffon, parachute silk, tulle. It all looked boudoir beautiful, as if all these ladies had dressing tables with swans down powder puffs and antique mirrors.

The hems all hit well below the knee but allowed for a sharp waist, a strong shoulder and plunging necklines (all good slimming and lengthening tricks). And they were soft enough to float around the curves, making this collection unexpectedly sexy for one so covered up. There were trousers, but they tended to come in perma-creased linen that was designed to sum up a freshly-laundered but laid-back crispness. They did. But the billowing skirts with hip-length cardigans and wrap-shirtdresses, looked so much easier.

Eveningwear was big on Donna's drape-and-wrap silhouette that is fast making her the queen of the American summer. What woman doesn't look great in a silk or jersey drape that suggests, rather than cinches, curves. The silver embroidered floor-length tulle gowns will undoubtedly be headlining on a red carpet near you some time very soon.

- Paula Reed in New York


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