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Donna Karan at Fashion Week: The empowerment collection

A model walks the runway at the Donna

A model walks the runway at the Donna Karan New York Fall 2012 fashion show. (Feb. 13, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

At her Monday afternoon show, Donna Karan sent out a fearless, strong, sexy collection that was both a departure from her signature, yet in some ways, at the essence of it.

The show opened with a whippet slim series of tuxedo jackets – some pinstriped, some with tails – paired with trousers, or to-the-body pencil skirts, a tuxedo shirt (a body suit – a Donna classic), accessorized with spliced cummerbunds and cuffed gloves, topped with an off-scale fedora by milliner Stephen Jones.

The effect was both startling and stunning. And then the show morphed.

Further into the line-up, there were gorgeous dresses in menswear fabrics – a wool felted jersey slither was inset with sheer fabric and sequins, a dress of wool gauze with metallic chiffon accents was perhaps the season’s most perfect cocktail frock. A sequin bustier evening dress was encrusted with sequins -- in fact an entire suit was sparkle coated.

The collection had tremendous focus and stayed on course, with Karan only veering off the cloudy palette of grays, blacks and inky shades with a blast of scarlet – a riding coat, a bewitching evening gown of satin.

It was all about balance – male and female, hard fabrications and soft ones – the yin and yang of dressing.  "This is a woman who embraces her many sides," wrote Karan in her notes.  "She is everything at once - with the sophistication, spirit and power to seduce the world."


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