Donna Karan's DKNY was born in the 1980s and the designer is darn proud of it. She previewed her 20th-anniversary collection on Sunday, and it was all about highlighter colors, minis and jumpsuits for the next generation.
Karan rarely makes an appearance at the Bryant Park tents, but this was a celebration and the brand needed the bigger space to accommodate more guests. Taking their places in the front row were Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci and longtime Karan models Esther Canadas and Angela Lindvall.
"I like her clothes because they're comfortable and I like her as a person," Ryder said. "She's kind of great."
DKNY's heart is driven by the beat of New York and the runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week began with a homemade video of streetscapes. Looking at quick flashes of traffic lights, neon signs and lots of taxicabs against the context of the clothes, the anorak dresses, parachute flight suits, and even rompers, seemed to make sense.
There was no fur, though, so animal-rights protesters picked the wrong show to target when they briefly interrupted the finale.
Karan is a master of layering, taking simple pieces and making great outfits: A linen denim jacket with a long-sleeve pullover and denim utility skirt, and a shrunken denim tweed jacket, matching skirt and a striped cotton tank top were examples of this chic recipe.
Karan kept her urban guy in a suit, in neutral colors, with Day-Glo shirts and ties.
"Modern, eclectic pieces reflect and individualize the city's many colorful personalities," Karan wrote in her notes. "But, of course, the base is black, along with neutrals of ash and indigo, shot with neon and electric brights in colorblocks or prints."
Karan took her bow alongside children, including her preschool-age granddaughter Stefania de Felice, decked out in new DKNY, and the catwalk models all in vintage styles. The message was that DKNY can dress anyone of any age.