Donna Karan’s Pre-fall Collection 2012
Hand in hand with her work as a designer, Donna Karan has long crusaded for social good—advocating for, among other things, cancer research, children’s education, and Haiti, where she’s making tireless efforts to build a sustainable, artisan-driven economy. But recently she’s decided to focus on what she calls “event-aholics.” “I’m starting a program,” Karan deadpanned Wednesday morning at a pre-fall presentation, having gone to a movie screening on Sunday, hosted an exhibition preview with Russell James and Hugh Jackman on Monday, and attended another event on Tuesday. “I think Vera [Wang] was out later than me last night.”
It’s a lighthearted solution to an issue Karan understands perhaps better than anyone: Women are taking on a lot. And if she can’t start a worldwide recovery group, she can at least empower women through clothes. This is what her pre-fall collection was about.
And it’s really what her whole career has been about, but this season stood out in particular for its utterly sophisticated simplicity: well-tailored, single-button blazers with stretch to allow for the various acrobatics required during a sixteen-hour day; skirts that hit just below the knee made sexy with slits that venture just above; and beautiful dresses with deep V-necks, soft chiffon pleats, and oversize bows at the waist that double as pockets. “It’s all those things you really want to have,” Karan said before extolling the versatility of a white bustier and black jumpsuit. “It’s like the new body. During the day you wear a blazer over it, then take it off and”—what else?—“go to an event at night.”