Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall '13: What's Old Is New Again For Donna Karan

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Summary: Eighties meets Nineties meets 2013. It seems the trend this season for the handful of fashion designers who have been around for more than a couple decades was to revisit their past and pay homage to themselves. When Donna Karan first launched in the mid-80’s she blazed into the fashion scene with her stretch jersey “Seven Easy Pieces” which were centered around a black bodysuit. It was minimalist, but it memorable (as in I even remember it). The idea was to give the “modern” woman the ability to mix and match a fully integrated wardrobe with just seven of her basics that were comfortable, wearable and liberating. Needless to say, this current collection was an amazing retrospective, yet modern take on the jersey draping that made Donna Karan so successful. She managed to keep the collection from looking too retro, yet the old signatures were most certainly there.
While there is no doubt one will have to keep their diet in check (or invest in some amazing control lingerie, Donna Karan has those too -AHEM) to pull of this jersey body-con collection, she thankfully has sweeping capes and wraps that one can layer to hide any misgivings (or large meals). I appreciated the more modern asymmetrical hems and opaque tights (which I have noticed on virtually every runway this season in any color but black). What really surprised me were the coats! At first glance a couple looked like camel hair, when in reality they were double-faced neoprene! Seriously. Is any designer not using neoprene this season? In an ode to the late 80’s and early 90’s these coats were double-breasted with hulking shoulders and defined sleeves. Obviously I loved those. In fact if memory serves I swear I had one back in the day, but I can assure you, it wasn’t in neoprene.
Donna Karan really had me when her last gowns came down the runway with slashed leather and/or sequins blocked with jersey and one paired with a fur cowl. I wasn’t personally grooving on the dark browns and rusts, but that’s me. On a tall blond with legs for miles, these items will stop traffic. Don’t worry, if you are a lover of black like me, there are plenty of options. Plenty.
Colors: camel, rust, chestnut, bark, peat, flint, pewter, gunmetal, black
Fabrics & Textures: sheer jersey, stretch jersey, viscose, cashmere, wool, wool boucle, double face wool felt, mohair, alpaca, stretch satin,hammered satin,  taffeta, neoprene, leather, eroded snakeskin, haircalf, suede, shearling, crystal, embroidery, slashed leather, sequins,
Key Looks: Black corrugated double face wool felt jacket with matching cape with a black viscose stretch jersey bodysuit and black viscose/wool stretch jersey skirt; black viscose/wool stretch jersey and leather dress with a black viscose/wool stretch jersey cape; camel wool/cashmere stretch double face neoprene coat; gunmetal curly shearling and cotton/wool padded jacket with gunmetal/flint stretch suede and cotton moleskin pant; black oxidized crystal slashed leather t-shirt with a black viscose stretch jersey and leather bordered skirt; gunmetal/viscose stretch jersey evening dress with a gunmetal/pewter tipped long hair shearling cowl; pewter viscose stretch jersey cape back evening dress; gunmetal/bark viscose stretch jersey and eroded snakeskin sequin evening dress.
– Lauren Dimet Waters
Photos: NYMag

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