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as four Interview >
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Fashion Blues >
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Spring 2005 Carol Christian Poell >
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Donna Karan is another legendary name who has built her reputation on tailoring. Her first gig was as an assistant to Anne Klein, the award-winning American designer famous for her well-tailored pieces, and especially known for her love of the blazer. When Donna began her eponymous label in the 80’s, based on the ‘Seven Easy Pieces’, it was built around the suit. While she has increasingly experimented with innovative, artistic, architectural cuts (sometimes with varying degrees of success), this season Donna has revisited her roots and kept the tricks to a minimum and with wonderful results.

Of course, Donna’s tailoring is hardly as rigorous, classic, or as All- American as say, Richard Tyler, Michael Kors, or Ralph Lauren and one would not expect that to be the case. It’s much softer and more feminine. The predominantly dark and jewel toned collection (with dandy-ish pinstripes mixed in) was called ‘Manhattan Rush’ but since Ms. Karan broke her leg skiing (the second time in the exact same spot), I doubt that she will actually be able to ‘rush’ around the city- though with Donna’s energy and ambition- one can’t count that out.

Touches of Edwardian and romantic details like her signature draping, sculpted rosettes, and exaggerated collars fashioned from heavy taffeta created a masculine/feminine counterpoint and while some of the pieces were cut narrow and lean, Donna did experiment with volume which was seen in several coats (a belted olive iridescent trench with an exaggerated collar, and the knee length cape coat, for example), suits (the narrow wool double breasted blazer shown with a soft, full knee length skirt), and a group of taffeta evening gowns which featured puffed up full skirts.


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