The buzz at this New York Fashion Week has centred around the significant anniversaries of two of the city’s most successful designers. With Diane von Furstenberg marking the 40th year of her signature wrap dress and Donna Karan celebrating 30 years since her debut collection, all eyes have been on the golden girls of New York fashion. Neither disappointed, with each of their collections showing just why their brands have stood the test of time.
Von Furstenberg paid homage to the now iconic style with which she first made her name. With her classic dress shape as inspiration she took the wrapover style and translated it into wrap blouses and cardigans, which she styled over wide legged trousers, maxi skirts and vintage-style tea dresses.
Languid silhouettes and art nouveau prints gave the collection a nostalgic seventies feel. Electric shades of lilac, cerise and cobalt popped against graphic patterns in black, white and gold. Bold textures created the feeling of opulence with velvets, furs and gold lames paired with the softest, flowing jersey - the decadent city wardrobe of a Manhattan jet setter.
Criticised in the early days for the wrap dress’ lack of design, 40 years on DvF has proved that her dress is a design classic. Satisfying a woman’s desire to feel both stylish and comfortable, the style also flatters most body shapes. Through her dynamic use of colour and print, von Furstenberg has ensured her signature dress has remained current throughout the decades. Effortless elegance animated through contemporary textiles, the DvF look is perfect for the modern woman.
30 Years, A Woman In Motion
Donna Karan is proof too, of the power of simplicity. From a first collection of ‘seven easy pieces’ all created around the humble body suit, Karan transformed the wardrobe of the working woman and has gone on to build a fashion empire that includes menswear, lingerie and homewares as well as the hugely successful diffusion line, DKNY.
Her predilection for black has been credited with the colour’s prominence in our wardrobes today, so it’s starring role in her autumn/winter collection came as little surprise. More of a revelation was its vampish edge, which saw models strutting out in tuxedo jackets worn mini-dress style with nothing more than suede thigh high boots and jaunty officer hats bedecked with plumes of glossy black feathers.
Texture defined the collection with sheers being used to highlight the very sexual feeling of the show. Swathes of chiffon wrapped around the body and held together with seemingly nothing more than a belt at the waist, floated into diaphanous skirts that breezed revealing about Amazonian legs; burnt out velvet highlighted every erogenous zone whilst jackets with laser cut-out squares created a modern cobweb look that revealed a sensual glimpse of flesh beneath.
There was though, still enough of her classic tailoring to ensure the wearability of the collection. The jacket has been a key style on the New York catwalks and so it was at Donna Karan too. Cinched with thin, glossy belts, this is the styling trick of the season to ensure the jacket is more than just outerwear this autumn/winter.
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