If Donna Karan’s front row was any indication–Ali Larter, Joy Bryant, Marisa Berenson, Goldie Hawn–this collection was intended for women of any age. The show notes explained that the collection was inspired by Karan’s search for a hand-blocked scarf. It was a journey that took her, she said, from India to Israel, and while she never found the scarf she was looking for, she found inspiration for spring 2014. That inspiration manifested in classic Donna Karan jersey and silk georgette wrap dresses accessorized with big low-slung leather belts handmade by artisans. Karan noted that the collection featured collaborations with artisans “from around the world”–from the accessories (belts, necklaces, giant kinda goofy looking crushed paper leather hats) to the hand-blocked prints adorning many dresses, skirts and coats. Karan deserves kudos for working with and supporting the work of artisans across the globe–but at times (hats, belts, busy prints, etc.), it all felt too crafty.
If Karan went on a journey for this latest collection, she sure did churn out a collection that could go on one. Speaking with Marisa Berenson after the show, the actress and model proclaimed she wanted all of it. “It’s so nice to have someone who does easy [clothes] – you can put them in your suitcase and take them anywhere.” And that was really the strength in this collection. The languid silk georgette dresses that closed the show were perfect for an evening out but looked like they could be pulled out of a suitcase at a moment’s notice.