At yesterday’s DKNY show, it was almost impossible to separate specific 9/11 homage from the urban Americana integral to the brand. Sure, the show notes paid explicit tribute to the tenth anniversary and “the courage, the inspiration, the compassion” of New Yorkers. But as a flock of electric red and blue looks emerged from the unmistakably NYC backdrop—a yellow cab parked in the middle of the West 26th St— it seemed the set, clothes, and music (The Guess Who’s “American Woman”) would have been just as fitting had DKNY showed any other day, not just 9/11/11.
Donna Karan’s sportswear line has forever romanticized New York– it’s in the name, after all–and yesterday’s collection was what DKNY has always been: relevant and smart, never fussy. Those red and blue looks, in eye popping stripes and Marimekko-esque florals, seemed perfectly primed for the city gal who wants to put together a striking look when she really needs to be running to the subway, like, now. That almost aggressive color combo (a favorite last season at Thakoon, Rag & Bone, etc) takes care of most the work.
The same was true of the hot pink options: tweed tops, a silk blazer Elle Woods would’ve killed for, and a couple “mullet” style dresses that make us wonder if Anja Rubik’s wedding gown silhouette will garner mass market appeal (girls with good legs, cross your fingers). For the office-dwelling urbanite, Karan still offered plenty of black and white blazers and blouses. Though perfectly lovely, they seemed to fade against the rest of the lively, spirited clothes. This was a patriotic, statement-making collection, and ultimately, how much of that statement was intended to be 9/11 referential– and how much was just classic DKNY–doesn’t matter at all.
**All images: Imaxtree