Donna Karan spent the last year traveling to Haiti and her resulting spring collection, titled “The Artisan Stroke,” was heavily inspired by what she saw there. “My two worlds come together…translating the vibrancy of tribal elements into sophisticated, sexy urban clothes,” the line sheet read.
The collection–tribal-printed cotton canvas dresses with flared circle skirts, appliqued body-con shifts, ruched silk viscose jersey dresses–was anchored in an earthy palate of browns, blacks, bones and clays and seemed particularly poignant given the inspiration. The standout pieces for me were the floor-length stretch jersey evening dresses as I thought they best infused Donna Karan’s classic relaxed feminine elegance with the tribal theme.
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We were surprised, at first, to see Wyclef Jean sitting in the front row at Donna Karan‘s spring 2012 show yesterday. But once we read the line sheets and saw the collection the connection was clear: Haiti. Karan’s collection was heavily influenced by travels to Haiti throughout the past year, and the Haitian musician is known for his charity work in his home country through his foundation, Yéle Haiti. What’s surprising though, is that Karan and Wyclef go way back.
We talked to Wyclef after the show to get his take on the collection, what he thought of the Haitian inspiration, and just how he and Karan got together.
Fashionista: So what brings you to Donna Karan’s show today? Did you work with her in anyway on this collection–besides performing at her after-party?
Wyclef Jean: I worked hand in hand with Donna and what I love about her is that I want people to know there’s a sexy side about Haiti–so when Donna comes and works with the artisans and starts bringing the jewelry back it’s incredible and this is just the start of it.
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