12 February 2013 by

Donna Karan Autumn 2013: Caped Crusaders & Urban Warriors

At the mouth of Karan’s runway this season was a battered metal pod from which her models emerged fierce but with that signature organic sensuality that that her label has become so well known for. Working from the foundation of a silk jersey body suit, this season Karan introduced long sweeping capes often styled as scarves over booty hugging asymmetric skirts. Tailoring came in a bold silhouettes with the curved shoulders and rounded sleeves reminiscent of mid-century couture patterns.

The palette was also true to Karan’s New York aesthetic with black, metal shades, earthy bark and raw rust offering an updated uniform for the urban warrior. There was plenty of fabric blocking on show here with velvet, silk, leathers and shearling stitched and layered together. A touch de trop you might ask? Well Karan’s canny use of sheer panels helped to break up the heavy textures. Particularly striking were the mohair and alpaca sweaters that looked like a Shagpile carpet and the closing floor length jersey dresses with sleeves and capes trailing in their wake.

In terms of accessories sleeveless dresses were matched with leather opera gloves creating unusual erogenous zones, while sculpted leather body jewellery embellished with gold and silver added a second skin of blinging body armour. Looking through the show notes, we were also intrigued by the “iconic evolution hosiery,” said to feature – however as far as we could see the tights which accompanied just about every look were standard sheers – albeit very silky looking.

Karan described this collection as, “clothes for women like me - who live and work 24/7 with passion and dress with emotion,” and it’s true that we did see everything from a stand out puffa jacket to a sequin embellished red carpet gown. In that sense, there was a look for every eventuality, from day to night – although we reckon you’d have to be in a pretty uber job – like Karan’s FROW star Uma Thurman, say - to make this wardrobe work for the daily grind.


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