Friday, June 4, 2010


Donna Karan

When it comes to pre-collections I usually find myself appreciating Pre-Fall more than I do Resort. I guess it's because more often than not resort ends up looking a little pre-packaged. Even though the season is meant to provide clothing for the transitional period between winter and summer a lot of designers seem to take the mini-season's name literally, as if every fashion-buying woman drops everything in the dead of winter to make a pilgrimage to a tropical climate. By comparison pre-fall isn't as pre-fab. So far none of the resort collections have made any kind of impact, at least not a positive one. There was a Bardot in St. Tropez themed collection at Chanel (not as much fun as it sounds), a positively cavity-inducing collection of pre-feminist cheese at Dior, and a mixed bag of Saint Laurent references at YSL that I haven't made my mind up about yet.

Donna Karan's collection, on the other hand, I've had no trouble making up my mind about. With a palette of black, silver, white and navy and a predominantly slinky, liable-to-fall-off silhouette it'd be weird if I didn't like it. Granted, it's basically limited to clothes that are strictly after dark, but considering that these clothes will show up in stores when it starts getting dark at around 4:30, I don't think that's such a problem. The first look says it all; black smoking jacket, gray silk wrap skirt and silver chain mail top, straight up glam from head to toe. I've never seen chain mail at Donna Karan before, but it actually makes perfect sense. That stuff drapes and clings like nobody's business, and Ms. Karan should consider playing with it more in the future. I'm picturing the results, and they make me happy. The other looks, from twisted jersey cowls to slouchy silk jacket and pant looks, and even a killer white tailored jumpsuit that was equal parts Marlene Dietrich and Studio 54 were equally glamorous. Let's not even get started on the handful of gowns that were shown. The final draped column in silver lamé is just too gorgeous to bear.

But even though 3/4 of the collection makes perfect sense despite how limited most of the clothes are in practical terms, there were a few looks that left me puzzled, and now that I think about it that happens a lot with Donna's pre-collections. There are always a few looks that don't quite fit, whether it's the style, the color, or the shape, though it's generally some combination of all three. This time around the sore-thumbs ranged from a voluminous opera coat that, in a lurid color combo, would have been right at home on a Lacroix runway, a frothy black circle skirted dance dress, and an icky star print that made it's presence known as a bulky parka and a transparent gown that displayed none of the ease, sensuality or technique that I expect from Donna's draping. They're minor quibbles, but when you're dealing with 25 or so looks, the sore thumbs stand out all the more. Since they're the minority they're easy enough to ignore. I just hope the limpid urban glamour that's the focus here is a preview of what's to come for S/S.

Check out the rest of the collection, including the duds, at


Prad Savania said...

Hey, interesting post!

You should check out my new shoe designing blogspot!

All my designs are hand-drawn! Thanks!

LOla said...

this collection is a complete draping lesson...the best resort this season!!!
It's not a simple "cashmaker" collection! It's a very wearable collection..chic and complicated...
I prefer Donna's draping to Alber ones...because her draping is flatering!!!

Sorry 4 my english...I'm french

Spike said...

Don't be silly LOla, you're English is fine. :)

I agree with you that Donna's draping tends to be more forgiving. Even though I love what both of them do, I can see some of Alber's more elaborately draped pieces being overwhelming on a lot of women.

Thanks for posting.