Donna Karan was in a compassionate mood this season when she designed her two collections. DKNY paid tribute to the lives lost on September 11th and her namesake collection was inspired by Haiti. After traveling to the region post-earthquake, the designer focused her philanthropic efforts in the area. The show notes declared that she is ‘constantly inspired by [her] passions’ and her passion for Haiti certainly shone through in her designs for spring. For the most part, the collection was filled with a neutral palette that, with the exception of a few hits of purple, was filled with muddy browns, burnt oranges, and tribal prints.
Her inspiration was at odds with her staple designs in some places as Karan’s signature sophisticated-sexy dresses looked somewhat out of place with the palette but there was a graphic element that saved the collection from being drab. Standout looks included a one-shouldered dress that featured a brush stroke print designed by Haitian artist Phillippe Dodar and a graphic brown and black dress that featured crisscrossed straps and a knee length hem. It wasn’t Karan’s finest work and I certainly missed the draped and body conscious (in the original sense of the phrase) dresses that Karan is famous for but this collection is an interesting departure from the athletic and mixed print trends of the season.