2010 September 13

Runway Reviews: DKNY, Lela Rose, Malandrino, Erin Fetherston

DKNY Spring 2011 DKNY Spring 2011
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Entitled “New York New Take,” DKNY’s Spring 2011 collection is all about re-energizing classicism with a twist. Tired of the fantasy and conceptualism that prevailed in past trends, Donna Karan was all about real clothes for real women. The palette was grounded in neutrals such as black, white, and nude, with splashes of red, navy, and turquoise. A true New Yorker, Donna Karan created a classic collection with a twist of New York chic, such as a scarf dress with a print of New York’s skyline, flirty ruffled strapless dresses, modern fitted trenches, one-shoulder swimsuits, and blazers with a modern frill. The secret to Donna’s success is that she knows what a modern girl wants and needs. If only all relationships could be this easy!

Finding beauty in Lima Peru, Lela Rose celebrated the city’s vibrant hand-loomed textiles and architecture. “The whole collection was about old-world culture meeting the new-world society,” noted Rose backstage. A sea of fabrics, textures and colors including hammered gauze, printed silk and loomed metallic tweeds were garnished with sparkles and baubles. While Rose’s offerings did feel familiarly demure, she strayed from her usual lunching with the ladies aesthetic a bit with her bustier-esque dresses. “There were definitely some sexier gowns for us this time,” she said, and she went on to explain her reasoning. “I really wanted to do fuller, voluminous gowns and the only way to do it is with tighter tops. Or else you risk looking like the Michelin Man!”

Catherine Malandrino presented her collection at the Grand Promenade outside Lincoln Center, and thankfully the rain held out. Although this move could have been considered risky, there was arguably no other place to hold the event. The collection was, after all, inspired by promenades! “I wanted everything to feel easy and effortless; the idea was a promenade on the south of France,” Malandrino noted. At once sensual and refined, long, lean and high-waisted trousers lengthened the willowy models to the max. While the designer offered her usual dark and sexy and decidedly feminine pieces, she also peppered the collection with lighter linens and parasol silhouettes meant for taking the girl throughout a warm day in France.


A departure from her previous ephemeral and uber-feminine collections, Spring 2011, entitled ‘Birds of Paradise,’ was a much more commercial version of Erin Fetherston's aesthetic that works for day and evening. Her tailoring and mastery of draping came through in her subtle pin tucking, bias cuts or a self belt or bow. Her sunny palette of parrot, orange, ivory and sand was translated into feminine and romantic silhouettes of silk charmeuse wrap and shift dresses, cropped jackets, and printed chiffon blouson top---in all, another reason to look forward to Spring.