Donna Karan Pre-Fall 2013 Collection

Posted on December 05, 2012


For her pre-fall collection, Donna Karan went for a stark, mostly black-and-white palette, but avoided becoming repetitive or boring by offering a range of shapes and silhouettes, combining a laser-like precision with a draped, sculptural feel. The resulting clothes are typically feminine (in a womanly, not girly sense), powerful, and statement-making. It takes a talented eye to make such simple shapes and colors so head-turning. Some really gorgeous pieces here.




[Photo Credit: Donna Karan]

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  • Sigh – I want everything. 

    • EveEve

      I want everything too.  In BRIGHT RED. 

  • Second from the bottom on the right side, the gray dress, Beautiful. 

    •  That one is MINE!

      • AthenaJ

        I’ll fight you for it!

  • She has done it again. Another collection of sublimely wearable. Utterly breathtaking clothes that in the vast majority of cases could be rendered effectively in a huge range of sizes.
    Brava! She rocks it again!

    • afabulous50

      Agree – I love this collection.

    • AthenaJ

      Yes! I’m a size 14 and this is a collection where I think some of the outfits would actually look good on me (which is a rare occurance).

    • Exactly, especially those flared out A-line silhouettes, they look very flattering and tailored at the same time. I’m short and pear shaped and I don’t like to wear flour sacks so these are dreamy to me.

  • susan6

    Is it just me or have these images been shopped to elongate the legs?  There’s something eerie and disturbing about the proportions.

    Ignoring that (although it’s hard), some of the dresses are stunning.

    • SewingSiren


    • lonedroid

       Ha, definitely. Now I can’t unsee it.

      • DeborahJozayt

        Ya, didn’t notice at first until I read susan6’s comment, either!

    • HomeOfficeGirl

      I want to see the live runway of this collection – will it still look as fantastic on “real” models even (much less non-model women) – I just don’t believe the stretched proportions.  I think the pieces should still look beautiful but maybe not quite how they are shown here…

  • Vickiefantastico

    How do all of the models look nine feet tall? Are they all drawings, or are those photos? If so, that’s some masterful design work! Gorgeous lines, very regal collection.

  • MilaXX

    I like this, but it will take a true fashionista to keep this looking youthful and fresh on the RC.

  • DCSheehan

    Sublime. Girls get all the neat clothes 🙁

    • StellaZafella

       And some of us boys wear them, too! 😉

  • Tatiana Luján

    Many of these make the models look pear-shaped. I think these are beautiful clothes, but many of them aren’t very flattering. 

    • but there is a certain beauty to a pear-shaped woman.

      • Exactly. I read that and thought, “Yeah, and thank goodness for that!” Hourglass is not the only desirable silhouette. 

    • Sarah Dickerson

      Personally, I’m grateful for some Fashion that actually flatters a traditionally female form.  What’s so wrong with pear shaped?

  • Top right – white jacket with black obi. Gorgeous.

  • geans


  • Judy_J

    Donna Karan knows how to dress a woman.  I love every single one of these looks.

  • Dear God in Heaven, how I wish I lived a life that required me to wear clothes like these! Especially Row 8, #1 and #3.

  • allaboutthewalterbenjamins

    Clearly the big belts are only there to attract the attention of the FLOTUS.

  • MY wardrobe….if only I were tall, slim and RICH.

  • mjude

    always been a fan. love the collection

  • The coats. I die.

    • StellaZafella

       Me too!!!…with slacks. skirts stopped being my friends in the 90’s.

  • zenobar

    All the separates are exquisite.  I’d have me a little mix-n-match party.  I’ll take one of everything in this collection, please.

  • Sara__B

    The designs are striking —  sculptural AND fluid, which I like. I can’t find a video of the runway show, but says the fabrics are all “bonded jersey, bonded neoprene, and a cotton cupro stretch”.  Someone help, please! What are those fabrics like?

  • Must. Have. Everything. Especially the pencil skirt. In black and white.

  • afabulous50

    I’ll take one of everything in my size…and step on it.

  • Monabel

    Covetable. And how graceful those knee-length skirts are! (Despite the weird elongation.)

  • Sara__B

    Very urban. Very striking. The designs seem sculptural AND fluid, which I like. I can’t find a video of the runway show yet, but another website says the fabrics are “bonded jersey, bonded neoprene, and a cotton cupro stretch”.  Will someone please tell me what those fabrics are like, please?

  • chill85

    Silhouette-wise, this is very Raf Simons (both his final Jil Sander collection and his Dior ones). Which is fine by me.

    • BrooklynBomber

      But it’s also very Donna Karan. As classic a Karan collection as I’ve seen in a while.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Very “Dior meets Manhattan,” isn’t it? Monochromatic beauty. 

  • crash1212

    WANT. IT. ALL. That first picture/dress literally made me gasp. This is an exceptional line.

  • Vanja

    I love almost all of it. Classy, clean lines, nice palette, interesting shapes and what looks like quality fabric.

  • halo323

    Holy photoshop!

    (Gorgeous clothes, though.)

  • yes, the shapes are lovely, but i am sick to death of black and white.  i’ll take the right-hand dress in the penultimate row, and you all can keep the rest.  wake me when it’s over.

  • Janet B

    Lovely, I wish I had a Donna Karan life.

  • looooooooove these!

  • clevRcat

    I especially love the navy/black combos.  Great stuff!

  • RocknRollmom

    Oh! My!  My love for Donna has been in abeyance as of late, but this reminds me of why I fell for her clothes hard back in the 80’s.  I would gladly take it all, even the white suit (I don’t do white unless I am getting married and I have vowed not to do THAT again, but that suit makes me think of a very cool courthouse wedding).  I would kill/rob a bank for the gray suit, the blue and black dress…well the list is very long.  GREAT JOB, Miss Donna!!!  Thank you TLo for this!

  • Mb

    I seriously love ALL of these.

  • Trisha26

    Love the gray & black dresses with the shear panels & the gray/black tea-length dress. Gorgeous!

  • marilyn


  • pugluv


  • knittermom

    I agree withe flattering comments, Ms. Karan uses a lot of classic “tricks” in these clothes to be ensure that they will flatter pears, apples and all the in between shapes, but in a lovely, subtle, and fashionable way. The “V” shapes in the jackets (necklines and bottoms),  the exaggerated waists and boat necklines (both perfect for pears) are a few of the details I notice, and I love her for being realistic and thinking of ALL women. Sure, a little color would be nice, but she is a New Yorker, right?

  • Wow. Fab-u-lous!

  • kimmeister

    Love all of the white jackets.  They look like they would actually work on my shoulder/waist ratio!

  • EEKstl

    Stunning.  I am personally obsessed with that first black cocktail dress and the clay red gown.

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    Lovely. I could actually see my size 18 self wearing a few of these pieces. Not that I could afford them but it’s nice to know someone out there designs for real women’s figures.

  • shanna bowie

    ::sings:: I want it all. And I want it now!

  • jilly_d

    WOW.  Want that kimono-style white jacket with the wide black belt, and the blue/gray and black dress with the v-neck.  Beautiful, all of it.

  • quiltrx

    LOVE the shapes and fluidity of everything.  I think the two grey dresses in the next-to-bottom row are my faves.

  • formerlyAnon

    Love it. Wish my legs were longer and my bank account bigger so I could really go to town!

  • ThaliaMenninger

    Yes, please

  • golden_valley

    What season is pre-fall exactly?  The fashion world seems to have different seasons than the rest of us.   Love the clothes.  

  • TLJezebel


  • J. Preposterice

    Cropped brown leather jacket, in my closet, NOW. 

  • A subtly beautiful and elegant collection. I want too many of these pieces to list!

  • in my office days, i would have worn every single one of these.  YES EVEN THE GOWNS.  

  • Zippypie

    Gorgeous! She really knows what shapes look beautiful on women.  Sleek and very chic.

  • Aurumgirl

    So many beautiful, wearable, flattering, elegant pieces.  

  • Anathema_Device

    Very cool. I like the combos of structure and flowy.

  • frankystein123

    The cropped kimono-esque top with very flattering pencil skirt is both classy and feminine.

  • RzYoung

    Striking and lovely!

  • I do think there are some CALVIN KLEIN FALL 2012 “inspired” looks here

  • jjfg

    Oh look –  a study in neutrals.  Overall I like the clothes but the rendering here is deadly dull.  Would it have killed her to ad SOME bit of color, somewhere?

  • Need everything!

  • Love all of it. Beautiful.

  • Wow. I am usually ‘meh about DK but these are amazing. There are at least 10 pieces I would love to have. I love the shapes.

  • mmc2315


    First row, middle.  MINE!  

    Some of these pieces have a lovely retro feel without being too literal.  

  • Fabulous.

  • Some of these clothes look great, but the presentation makes me ANGRY. It’s hard enough to look at a skinny underaged model and try to figure out how a garment would look on somebody with breasts and a butt, without said model also being photoshopped to look 19 feet tall. It’s so ridiculous and unprofessional. These are not Barbie clothes, they’re meant to be worn by real people. How am I supposed to tell the proportions of anything? DIE, STUPID TREND.

  • Bonded usually means there are two layers of fabric bonded together so there’s more weight and body and usually don’t have to be lined so the jersey will be be less drapey and have more body if that makes sense.  Neoprene is a springy synthetic- it originated with sporty/ watersport fabrics but there are more fashion versions now. It has a lot of shape and (again I use this word) body so you can shape it and get these sculptural forms rather than it just hanging from the body.
    Cupro usually feels like silk but it’s a sort of synthetic usually originating from parts of the cotton plant. Could be a mix of cupro and cotton here? Probably makes sense to use economically now that silk prices have gone through the roof. 

    I bet these all keep their shape really beautifully on the hanger…

    Hope that helped?

    • Sara__B

       Thank you! That helped A LOT!

  • kategs

    I want that giant collared black coat!

  • PeggyOC

    Love these, and that oxblood cropped leather jacket must be mine.  But is it just me, or do the models look digitally stretched?  Even in the land of tall, skinny models, they look unreal.

  • Top row on the right: I can so see FLOTUS in this.
    6th row, middle (black with striped hem): Karan is channeling her inner Dior with stunning results.
    7th row, on the right: I’ll take that grey coat, thanks.  I have the perfect scarf to go with it.

  • One in every color please!! 

  • Jennifer Coleman

    Shelly O can have that first black dress; I’ll take the rest.

  • Myra C

    Some of the pieces have a feel of Dior’s New Look meets Blade Runner.  The collection is beautiful. I would wear every one of those pieces.

  • Great impact. These are expertly rendered and kind of monolithic in that they exude a uniformity of sorts: something structured, and, most importantly, invulnerable. There isn’t anything I outright dislike; I even respond to the color-blocking she attempted to achieve through the drapery (9th row, 3rd look left-to-right), though I felt that piece looked the least resolved. I’m not crazy about look row # 4, 1st on the left side either; I appreciate the simplicity, but I’m turned off by the camel-toe and crotch-bunching. But the COATS, and the jackets, and the capes… they’re outstandingly colossal.

  • guest2visits

    These are all beautiful; I wish there was more even more use of neutral shades.

  • lingeriesite

    black-and-white  looks cool!

  • M H

    Everything here is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G…..sort of Dior “New Look” meets Kenzo….