2011 September 13

Spring 2012: Donna Karan, Betsey Johnson, Michael Bastian, Rebecca Minkoff

Donna Karan Spring 2012 Donna Karan Spring 2012
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(NEW YORK) Donna Karan
Switching gears from her all-American DKNY collection, Donna Karan offered up a medley of urban tribal wear in unabashed brushstroke prints for her eponymous collection. “I was in Haiti and got inspired by the artist Philippe Dodard. His work reminds me a lot of my husband. Gabby has his paintings up in her restaurant now,” said Karan. In a graphic color palette of bone, citrus, fern, leaf, and African violet, Karan’s “two worlds came together” in a sportif fencing jacket paired with a mask print circle skirt, cotton canvas dresses studded with brass and wood appliqués or accented with provocative mesh inserts, and little body-con jersey staples with asymmetrical necklines for those frequent desk-to-dinner dates. And who could miss the chunky Haitian bijoux: geometric wood bangles, Lucite and wood necklaces, and hand-carved bone cuffs? As for evening elegance, this design doyenne pulled out all the stops with her floor-grazing, viscose jersey gowns—draped, swirled, and contoured to perfection.

Betsey Johnson
What else is there to say about fashion week's greatest party? Betsey Johnson has a fan base, and she knows what they want. They want quirky and fun—in other words, they want pure Betsey, and she didn't disappoint. Beyond the quintessentially Betsey cupcake skirts—flouncy, poufy, and fun, this time traced on some looks with noir contouring stripes—and lacy negligee-style corseting was classic Betsey. But the breezy, pared-down prettiness of mellow Rococo-printed wide leg trousers had an air of sophistication, before it was back to hot-pink bras peeking out of skull-print one-pieces, lace-up necklines, stripes in sheer and tight iterations, and the kitsch of a single mirrored lightening-bolt earring on many a look. This year, the designer's daughter Lulu walked in the show for the first time, and recent fashion week staple Nikki Minaj sat front row. It was these two women who are near and dear to her where Betsey found her inspiration. Looks like many women across the country will be doing cartwheels when this collection hits stores. It's not fashion week without a little fab courtesy of the one and only Betsey.

Michael Bastian
The current CFDA winner for men's fashion presented his Spring/Summer collection at Exit Art with a front row of the best dressed men in New York City, and a lineup of the hottest male models that will be seen this season. As for the clothes... Do you even need to ask? Perfection! Bastian showed 43 looks, many of them inspired by James Dean's most famous role in Rebel Without a Cause, with touches of country living (a couple of cowboy hats, plaid button-downs, and decidedly utilitarian-looking gloves) apropos for roaming the untamed ranges of Manhattan. Highlights included plenty of cashmere sweaters, nicely tailored blazers and shorts fashioned out of navy sweatshirt materials. Bastian has the rebels all covered for all weather conditions. Although, judging by the athletic towels tossed over the necks of many a model, the forecast for this bevy of memorable yet wearable looks errs on the edge of sweltering.

Rebecca Minkoff
Minkoff is expecting a baby in a few weeks, but first gave birth to her "Desert Love" collection, that pulls from architect Luis Barrag á n's poetic use of colors. According to show notes: Rebecca spent time near the desert, envisioned herself in an abandoned house finding and trying on old clothes that had been aged by the sun and the wind. Minkoff stays true to her subtle edginess she is most known for. If you're looking for the perfect looks to accompany your beloved Minoff bag, look no further—her latest collection was stronger than ever.