Donna Karan Spring 2013 Collection

Posted on September 11, 2012

If there’s one theme running through the collections so far this season, it’s serenity. There’s this peaceful, almost zen feeling running through the shows, as if fashion looked around at an increasingly scary and divisive world and said “Okay, everyone take a time-out for something pretty.” The show notes described this collection as, “a paean to those quiet, reflective moments that strike even the great dirty heaving metropolis that is New York City.”  The palette is pale and washed out, with pops of midnight blue and deep, golden yellows to punctuate things. Entitled “Sunrise, Sunset,” it offers up, essentially, the sky in clothing form. Ethereal and sophisticated, with gentle shapes and gentle hues, beautifully draped and constructed, it was incredibly relaxing just watching these looks pass by.




[Photo Credit:]

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  • michelle shields

    Pretty but get rid of the see-through shit please? Done and over it.

    • kolokOlchik

      I was thinking the same thing.  It’s done, let’s move on!

    • kimmeister

      Especially when it gives you sparkly seafoam green underboob.

    • DesertDweller79

       I was almost there before Fashion Week.  But I have now arrived. Joining the “No more sheer!” club as of this moment.

      • DCSheehan

        I want in to this club! Does membership include wine?

  • anotherkate

    They’re the calmest devils in Satan’s army. Which is to say, WOW is that red eye makeup distracting! I think the dresses are pretty, though. Probably. *stop staring into my soul, models!*

    • Sobaika

      That’s some serious Twilight makeup. Awful.

    • Terrie_S

      I keep thinking “Angry swans!” The couple pieces with feathery fringe certainly don’t help.

    • jmorino08

       Totally agree!

    • Chantelle James

      I had to scroll up and see what you were talking about. Is it bad that I didn’t even notice the models for the lovely clothes?

    • Horror movie to the point of distraction, I agree. Not looking forward to the nightmares about hungry zombie models eating me alive. 

      ETA: Maybe it wasn’t so bad in person and just photographs badly. I usually love me some Donna Karan.

    • littlemac8

      I was reminded all bunny rabbits are NOT sweet and cuddly!

      • instantkarmalr

        These models are more of the Monty Python variety.

  • A little too drab and sad for my taste. And NO to the zombie eyes. : /

    • Samantha Irene

      I agree with the zombie eyes… like something from a nightmare. Some of the clothes are great, but the dark ones with the nude-ish colored sections kind-of make the models look like they have elephantiasis…

  • My favorite one so far, for clothes I’d actually wear.

    • giiiirrrr

      I want to have places to wear these amazing clothes!  Guess I’ll have to move to NYC and make a lot of money to realize the dream.  On it.  

  • butterflysunita

    Lovely, but “great dirty heaving metropolis that is New York City” made me laugh.  Not very complimentary.  

  • Clueless_Jock

    I’ll bet these dresses moved beautifully on the runway.

  • charlotte

    Serenity, yes, but bedsheet serenity!

  • HobbitGirl

    So much of this looks like it’d make anyone other than the models look like a double-wide trailer. I don’t understand this obsession with huge drapes of fabric that obscure any shape a woman might happen to have.

    • joything

      Seventh row, middle, actually makes a runway model look like a double-wide trailer.  Being that I live in the spawning ground of double-wide trailers, I have to agree with your assessment.

    • imspinningaround

      Donna Karan built an entire career on making clothes to accommodate her hips.  I’d say this collection succeeded brilliantly as an example of her raison d’etre.

  • another_laura

    I think I’ve seen better paeans – pretentious, much? – but there are some very pretty looks here.  I guess the world still has not moved off of the satiny fabrics, which I note here with continuing annoyance.  And look out for that housecoat in the 6th row, yikes!

  • Another amazing collection and I think it’s beautifully styled. For some reason the crazy red eye makeup works here. Very interesting in a subtle way.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    i cant seem to get past the fact that all the models seem to have caught the same dose of conjunctivitus….

  • Kate4queen

    I’m already worrying about the ironing, not for me apart from the last two I think.

    • Lilithcat

      If you could afford these dresses, though, you could afford to hire someone to do the ironing for you!

      • Kate4queen

        I don’t iron anything LOL If it needs it, I either won’t buy it, or I’ll send it to the laundry like I do my husband’s shirts. 🙂

  • I find the draping and folding odd? And they looked like… quite amateurish.


  • Pretty. I particularly like the pale greens and blues. Very spring-y and minimalist-chic. 

    ETA: Though I hate the styling of the models. The pink shadow makes all of them look like they were bawling their eyes out backstage.

  • JuliaInBlack

    Hrmmm.  I like most of these looks but only from the waist up (and minus the Walking Dead ocular region.)

  • Love it, but that first photo looks like the model has a zebra leg and elephant foot. 

  • StellaZafella

    I’m not a real lady…never have been, but these pieces make me want to be one. WOW

  • Lilithcat

    Y’know, I wish designers would line the sheer fabrics.  I do not want to know what style undies the models are wearing.

  • Surgical scrubs.

  • elirt

    LOVE IT ALL! Except for the demon spawn make-up. 

  • Another wonderfully lovely collection of terrifically wearable pieces, that could be successfully produced I any size. Brava! It’s a delight to look at.

    • mjude

      hello darling, hope you are well.  just returned today & boy am i behind in my tlo reading.  i have to say donna karan never disappoints me.

      • Hey Doll, I’ve been having a busy week already, so I haven’t had as much time to loiter on TLo as I would like, dammit. Its good to see you.

  • MilaXX

    Beautiful. I’m glad to see she didn’t stop at the pales greys and seafoam greens. I can imagine Swinton rocking this with ease, but I’d love to see  one of our other lady celebs tackle a look from this collection.

  • PuttyGalore

    Ehhh. Also, zombie eyes.

  • kimmeister

    Not feeling the spiderweb-looking pieces.  The final look (are those pants?) just looks like it got bleach spilled on it.

  • ojosazules

    These are lovely colors. Love the soft lines and draping. Don’t get the red eye.

  • PinkLemon

    Karlie’s presence is commanding. And all of a sudden I have a desperate need for a bolero in my life…? Preferably in white leather plz kthxbi.

  • Glammie

    No kidding about pastels being everywhere.  I like pastels in person, but they don’t play as well in stills.  Still, I’m inclined to like this collection. Donna has always made more wearable clothes than a lot of designers–well, except for the cut-out thingy.

    Love the mauve and dark blue she’s using–well, guess I’m still not into pastels.

  • IMNAngryLiberal

    There are going to be a lot of washed out looking white women on the red carpet this year — those pale shades that are popping up everywhere aren’t flattering to most people who aren’t either ethnically blessed or under 18 (when I was a pale, white-haired little girl, I thought that when I grew up I would have dark hair and skin that tanned like my Italian grandmother — turns out it doesn’t work like that <>)

  • I wish I could have seen these live-I bet they looked gorgeous in person.

  • marilyn

    Okay.  Some pieces okay, others are just ordinary.  

  • Freaky makeup! It makes their eyes look like they are glowing red!

  • Kristin McNamara

    OMG….. relax your eyes a little bit and the tan colored portion of the first dress pictured (the one TLo made into the big picture, not the first in the rows) and it looks like that’s her LEG. With a big old honkin HOOF on the end of it!! Ewwww I can’t not see it….

    • alyce1213

      Exactly what I thought — an elephantine leg with a giant, grotesque foot. Way too weird for me to like this otherwise nice dress.

  • Scarlet39

    Beautiful!  Everyone should have a little Donna Karan in her wardrobe.  I remember (seems like such a long time ago) buying a black, wrap bodysuit of hers at Wannmakers when I lived in Philadelphia.  I felt fantastic each time I wore it.

  • PastryGoddess

    One thing I love about Donna Karan is how EASY her clothes are to wear.  You put on a dress and it is the most comfortable dress ever AND you look great.  Her clothes, while not the flashiest, are super duper flattering to womens bodies, no matter the shape 

    I seriously want every single dress, minus those cutouts

  • Zippypie

    Once the collection moves into the deeper hues, it comes alive.  Before that, all the pale grays and creams are a complete snoozefest.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    i think the blue coral branches over the underpants business is silly & the top center would more accurately be called a folded periwinkle sheet than a dress, a blue periwinkle sheet once caught up in the wash w/ a smashed pencil. same for a lot of the sheety ones, only some of them probably started out white. otoh, the dress in the featured photo is stunning, as are, indeed, some of the others. ot-last-h, i can see the inspiration for ven budhu’s most recent, not to mention: infamous, skirt peeking around beneath one or another jacket here…..

  • unbornfawn

    Very feminine, very soft. I like many of the shapes in this collection.

  • jmorino08

    Wow! That makeup is really distracting. I’m having a hard time seeing past it to find the pretty in the clothes. Plus, everytime I look at that navy dress on top, I keep thing that is a big fat bare leg sticking out, not a part of the fabric. Just me?

    • l_c_ann

      A leg with elephantitis.

  • Anathema_Device

    Love that shade of red in this collection. so pretty.

  • Trisha26

    The first & last gowns in midnight blue with that hint of sunrise/sunset are breathtaking. I want them.

  • lizajane1776

    Nope. Not a one. 

  • Oooh, I’d give my eye teeth for that dress in the middle of the 6th row down. That’s gorgeous. They all are, really, but that one I covet. Hard.

    But WTF with the laser-beam eye-makeup?? Beautiful dresses. Scary models. I expect an eye-stalk to burst thru their foreheads and decimate everyone in the audience at any moment. Or maybe I’ve been watching too much Doctor Who.

  • j_anson

    Oh, that gown featured at the top is just stunning. I also like the charcoal dress with the asymmetrical sheer neckline, although the weird bathrobe-y thing above it is unfortunate and there are a few other variations on themes that I’m just not liking.

  • Beautiful, Modern, CLean…

  • Ugh. No. Definitely my least favorite collection that I’ve seen so far. And the makeup makes my eyes feel itchy.

  • Rows 7 and 12 are beautiful – the rest just doesn’t do much for me.  And I really don’t like the crazy red eye makeup!

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    If this is what spring will be like fashion-wise, I think I will just go ahead and get depressed now.

  • I know this is a fashion show and the dresses are fitted on to models for a reason but I feel like if any stars wears these dresses, instantly the flowing aspect of it all will disappear. Because I don’t think any of these dresses would look good on ladies with boobs. 

  • macostacruz

    Serenity now!

  • TomBord

    Ooooooooh look it’s Comme des Garcons done up in a pretty palette. ……………….WTFDK?

  • Call me Bee

    Except for the sheers over the ickky granny panties, I utterly love this collection. DK never disappoints. Her fashions can be worn by pudgy Midwesterners such as myself and make us feel stylish and fabulous. Nothing better.

  •  My god, the colors! These are not your mother’s pastels. Stunning.

  • Zombie make-up is so distracting. Many of the looks also have too many layers and folds and drapey pieces and I think look “fat” – e..g will not work on any normal person and don’t really look good on the models. (Left and right in row 2, for example).  The colors are pretty.  

  • quiltrx

    I really love the silvery, shimmery colors.  And as I said with the DKNY collection (even moreso here!), I can imagine how beautifully these pieces looked in motion.

  • ert4osu

    Never a disappointment! Beautiful!

  • They nearly ruined all of the floaty-ethereal-airy-pretty with that harsh styling.  Red eyeshadow and harsh hair?  Just doesn’t seem right.

  • joything

    Okay, I’m going to sound like a jerk … the first look you posted at the top, I had the horrifying impression that that flesh-tone panel was her ACTUAL LEG.  With a shoe.

  • RoxieRider

    I don’t want to like a lot of this, but my god I really do. Love it even. It’s like Northern California crossed with Manhattan. Almost no one could wear most of it, but it’s just so beautiful.

  • NCDFan

    You see serenity, I see bulky layered skirts.

  • Aurumgirl

    The makeup and the models aren’t holding my focus as much as the clothes.  They’re lovely (I love that red clover coloured material, and the buttercup/mustard coloured dresses, too).  The jackets with the hair, however–maybe that’s her tribute to Phyllis Diller.  

  • By “relaxing” do you mean you fell asleep? cause I sure did. All the odd draping and necklines can’t save this from just being dull. 

  • PeggyOC

    Lovely looks, but the red eyes on the models makes me feel like I’m watching a very well dressed zombie apocalypse.

  • mmc2315

    I’d like to see this collection in motion.  The pieces that caught my eye have a retro-feel in the silhouette.   I’m curious about the fabric in the red pieces.  

  • tereliz

    I’m always a sucker for floaty and ethereal, and I was so happy to see that pink color! I’ll stick to wearing it in my clothes, though, not my eye makeup. 😉

  • m0r0

    Thank you Donna for making a collection that has a skirt length that goes to the knee and below it. They are beautiful and sophisticated and more average women prefer this length, I suspect, and have a very difficult time finding it. On behalf of all of us I thank you.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    There are some very pretty pieces here, but they seem lost in a sea of shapelesness. Flowy is one thing, but a lot of these clothes look as if they could only look good if arranged just so for a photo.
    Were they designed to camouflage the extra holiday pounds that won’t be shed before Spring?

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    LOVE the colors, up until you get to the mustard yellow ones.  So beautiful and wearable.  I covet the first outfit in the first row.  Gorgeous collection.

  • Presumptuous Insect

    I think what’s his name’s collection is reminiscent of this, and that is why I like it. Dammit, can’t remember the Project Runway contestant’s name!  He’s the one that Kors said dressed cool but that he didn’t see it in the outfit that was on stage that day.

    • Presumptuous Insect

      FABIO!  That’s it.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I’m just loving all these full skirts this year!  I do not have the right shape for a narrow skirt, and I love the femininity of yards of fabric floating around the legs like this.

  • Mostly love this, but I could live without the see-through with granny panties, and the marabou trim.

  • guest2visits

    Love the cool soft colors, and so many of these dresses and their little jackets.  Love the last two gowns.

  • Judih1

    Once again a fashion show where there are all the model are the same “hue”. Even when there is a model of color, she looks Anglo

  • I really like the collection, but I wonder if many of the pieces would look dumpy on real women.

  • julesj

    Pretty, but don’t like the pink-eye.

  • …What’s with the albino rabbit eyeshadow?

    I love the sequence of colors, though–so pretty!

  • instantkarmalr

    The title made me think this collection would be inspired by “Fiddler on the Roof.”  I have to admit, I’m slightly disappointed that it isn’t.

  • libraangel

    Beautiful, but I am still sick of seeing see through/underwear!

  • I thought it was an elephant foot.