Donna Karan spent some time dishing with us about her fall collections, eponymous lifestyle brand and her most important style tip for women—not to mention what every woman needs in her wardrobe for fall.
What kind of woman do you design for?
I design for a universality of women who are urban, creative and passionate. Even if she doesn’t live in a city, she has the sensibility of one who does. This is a sophisticated woman—one who multitasks in her daily life, one who travels, one who always feels like she’s short on time and needs day-into-evening clothes she doesn’t have to think about.
What is the inspiration behind your pre-fall and fall 2012 collection?
We called pre-fall and fall Wo-Man. The concept is about empowering women with a potent mix of his tailoring and her sensuality. To me, style is in the contrasts—strong, soft; light, dark; liquid, structure.
So the objective was to offer her a sharp, shouldered and slim silhouette that could multi-function with ease and sophistication. A great, double-breasted cutaway jacket she can suit up with cuffed pants or a splice skirt. The femininity of a silk bodysuit. A tailored dress that is seduces by flashing just enough skin at the neck and/or leg. A topcoat she can wear over everything. The more pulled-together, the more confident, the more seductive.
If you could give a woman just one style tip, what would it be?
Know yourself, your body, your style, and dress to accentuate the positive and delete the negative. There’s nothing more stylish than confidence.
How has your brand evolved from where it began, and what’s next for Donna Karan?
Evolved is the perfect word because our Seven Easy Pieces philosophy is the same it was when we first began. Yet the woman and her lifestyle have evolved, and so the actual pieces have evolved with her. She’s even more diverse, pulled in even more directions. Style-wise, she’s more flexible, more creative because she’s not an either/or, she’s an “and.” That’s why we’ve opened Casual Luxe, to address her more relaxed side with sophistication.
What are the essentials every woman needs in her wardrobe this fall?
Think in terms of tailoring. A strongly shouldered cutaway jacket—it will modernize everything you own. A pegged or envelope skirt. Maybe a coatdress or jumpsuit. Tailoring feels very new and fresh.