For the 25th anniversary of her DKNY collection, Donna Karan has returned to her wonder years. The designer pumped up the volume at her New York fashion week runway show with music from the Beastie Boys ("(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party)" is an all-time great anthem), reflecting the late 1980s when she first launched her collection of urban, casual clothes.
Boy, was she ahead of the curve.
For spring 2014, many of Karan's greatest hits are on display, updated with techno-fabrics and combinations (terrycloth track pants with tulle inserts) that weren't even thought of back then.
Karan opened with denim overalls — long and short versions — with crisp boyfriend blazers, and denim jeans and jackets festooned with decals. Then she moved on to bandana-print frocks, colorful neoprene dresses with flared skirts, and tank dresses made of parachute fabrics. Riffs on the classic trench coat — a skirt that looks like a khaki trench wrapped at the waist and a sheer black silk trench dress with built-in bodysuit — were particularly inspired.
Bodysuits, track pants and parkas all screamed out with bold black-and-white DKNY logos before Karan ended with three slinky, long V-neck gowns — famously called "the naked dress" because there's not much there. (It's a modern take on the look Karan first popularized for the Carrie Bradshaw character in Sex and the City in the '90s.)
A big surprise occurred at the end of the show when singer Rita Ora appeared on the runway. In a DKNY logo blouse and flared skirt, she ran her fingers through her hair a bit too much like she imagined it must have been like to have lived in Karan's formative design years. But she still looked like a girl who wants to have fun.