Donna Karan Spring 2014 Collection

Posted on September 11, 2013

The show notes mentioned the usual urban woman tropes that infuse practically everything Donna Karan does, but from our seats, this looked more like a fabulous woman trekking across the desert in search of the perfect bag. Big slouchy belts, flowy slit skirts and plunging necklines paired with sandals, rumpled leather hats and earthy geometric batik-like prints give off the feel of a fabulous urban nomad, her eyes constantly on the horizon. There’s a low-key, laid back sexiness to the whole thing, but also a wearability across the board; interpretable, wardrobe-builders for a range of women.




[Photo Credit: IMAXtree]

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  • annabelle archer

    Seriously Safari Chic.

    • Donna Tabor

      Except you wouldn’t actually wear any of that on a real safari because you’d burn a giant vee on your chest.

  • foodycatAlicia

    LOVE. And incidentally, this could be used to teach a class on how to be inspired by other cultures without getting into cultural appropriation.

  • Jenna Chapman

    … Is anyone else reading this as “samurai-chic”? What with the plunging wrap necklines, voluminous sleeves and textile-like patterning?

    I’ll just be over here in the corner then…

    • siedhr

      I see it.

    • oekmama

      Kinda. When I saw the first pic, I thought: Jedi. 😀

      We can stand in the corner together.

      • Jenna Chapman

        Yes! Thank you. “Jedi” is perhaps a better translation of what I was attempting to convey :-)

  • kayleymaybe

    There are a few collections this season where the models seem to be just DROWNING in the clothes. I mean, I like this stuff, but it looks like they all just draped on pieces that were too large for them and then belted them. I can’t figure out if this will be a flattering look on an average-sized woman, or if it will just make an average-sized woman look huge.

    • foodycatAlicia

      I think some of them you’d have to be tall and slender, but there are a few that look quite forgiving of less-modelesque bodies.

      • Aurumgirl

        Definitely. I remember those belts from the 80’s, too–they do have a way of narrowing the silhouette and giving a bit of shape to voluminous clothing. But you can’t call this collection “body conscious”.

    • Imasewsure

      Kind of felt the same way… not that it wouldn’t be flattering on a lot of body types but that it was a whole lot of draping and layering and fabric to fuss with which was impractical when you are going for effortless chic

    • siedhr

      Mte. To me, it looks like a collection of pretty tents for very thin women.

      • oekmama

        very thin tall women

      • Suzanne Moore

        Agree. Everything looks over-sized, which might be charming on a tall, thin, woman with no curves. But on an average-sized woman with an actual figure they’d never work. i’d look huge.

    • Jacob Bowen

      I cannot agree more! It looks like the sleeves have just sucked their arms in! Also, the “belts” are doing nothing for the models, they are just hanging there, which just adds more to the drowning feeling.

    • DuBey2

      well, Drowning chic is the new black. Rachel Zoe has been doing it for a few years now…

    • RussellH88

      I thought the same thing. The fitting on some pieces seems to be huge, and not in a “flowy, draped” way.

    • MichelleRafter

      I predict a lot of downsized RTW knockoffs; these proportions aren’t practical, but shrink up those shirts and I could definitely see some of these pieces walking into a midtown office next spring.

  • DTLAFamilies


  • MilaXX

    Not exactly my taste and I definitely wouldn’t call it urban. it read more California Boho to me. It’s like what Gretchen or Alexandria hope to be when they grow up. The only dresses I really like are the flowy pieces in the later portion of the collection

    • JulieTy

      Yep. I thought of Gretchen right away (and not in a good way).

  • ThaliaMenninger

    I’m seeing Candice Bergen as Margaret Bourke-White and Meryl Streep as Karin von Blixen. I guess that means I think it’s costumey, rather than just fashionable, but I actually don’t. I just want it to be on Bergen and Streep the way they were back a few years, and the way they were as inspired by the films Gandhi and Out of Africa.

  • viridian61

    Button that shirt young lady! You are not leaving the house like that. (Joke)

  • Sarah

    Those necklaces are all serving me “distorted Texas.” I’m not a fan.

    • decormaven

      I know! I’m trying to figure out which US state shape it is. Or maybe a country? Cartography is not my strong suit.

      • Sarah

        I was thinking they were trying to be random, but that randomness generated Texas. Either way, I think they are huge and distracting.

    • Bridget Smith

      My impression was “cutting room floor.” It looks like the leftovers from when they cut other pieces out of the material. I do like them, though.

    • mila_8

      Mini t-shirts & upside down sphinxes. And something else hanging on for dear life.

  • Imasewsure

    I see Nina Garcia grabbing all of this for urban safari weekends

  • viridian61

    Some of the looser dresses without the slits would work well for many body types.

  • filmcricket

    I like the blues. That’s about all that’s positive here.

  • charlotte

    Come on, seriously?

  • Shawn EH

    Even cowgirls get the blues? Seems kinda dated to me, which means we’re going back there, again.

  • LaSylphide

    I like some of this, especially the geometric prints. And I love earth tones the way they are used here.

    But any skirt with two slits that allow the front panel to end up between the legs when walking is a major thumbs down (see first picture, and a few others). It’s very uncomfortable and looks awful. I had a skirt like that years ago, and I had to keep reaching down to pull the skirt from between my legs, which gave the impression, I was assured gleefully by friends, that I was publicly scratching my ladybits.

  • Jacquelyn

    Really like the orange coat. There are some other nice things in here but it’s not my favorite collection.

  • DeTrop

    Some of these are fine especially the last six. Is anyone else tired of the double slit? The clothes get stuck between your legs and looks so uncomfortable.

    • GillianHolroyd

      omg yes and it seems to be trending now. it looks stupid.

      • demidaemon

        I prefer DK’s double slit to Helen’s (of PR decoy-maybe fame), though.

  • bayusc

    Not a fan of the color palate…

  • Danielle

    Second from the bottom is giving me LIFE. And I love those giant necklaces.

  • anotherkate

    I love all of this. I’m loving the loose, printed pants especially!

  • Denise Alden

    Donna likes her girls white, doesn’t she? Maybe four women of color here? It’s a bit shocking, after the fantastic assortment of models Tracy Reese had.

    • mariahwg

      Right? And the stunning DVF runway.

    • Coleen

      Honestly, the whitewashing of the models took away my enjoyment of the clothes. It was noticeable.

  • quiltrx

    Most of it’s not my style, but very pretty in its way, and the collection definitely knows the woman it’s for, so to speak.
    I do love the blue/black prints.

  • Donna Tabor

    A range of women who don’t mind exposing their cleavage clear down to their waists.

    All but five of them, that is.

  • Deedles

    I see London, I see France, I see… a whole bunch of colors I sure as heck can’t wear. I like that so many of these collections seem comfortable to wear, though.

  • yethica

    I dunno… I feel pretty MEH about the whole collection…

  • hughman

    Tatooine realness.

    “Help me, Obi-Donna Karan. You’re my only hope.”

  • jackiexx

    Not loving the cowhide sorting-hats but otherwise a super chic and wearable collection!

  •!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

    As much as I love the drape and colors, I’m afraid as a mere civilian these would look and feel as if they were falling off. And inevitably they would in the most dramatic, public and most embarrassing fashion possible.

  • CommentsByKatie

    This collection reminds me of Gretchen, which makes me kind of dislike it. I can see that the clothes are beautifully made and interesting but it’s not something I would wear.

  • kittenwithaquip

    The hats BUG. It looks like the Sorting Hat from Hogwart’s is moonlighting.

    • Nicola Anna Molly Page

      exactly what I thought! I wanted to see if anyone else had the same thought before I posted.

  • conniemd

    I like the collection, but the dark earth tones all read more fall than spring to me.

  • Scarlet

    A lot of that tan stuff with the geometric black patterns looks almost exactly like tapa cloth from the Pacific Islands.

  • StellaZafella

    I’ll leave the hats on the runway…they’re fun as hell but, no.
    At home I’ll pin the deep v-necked pieces further up with imaginative brooches and take the lot…though, I admit, I’ll be wearing most of this with pants under…It’s the colors and the silhouettes that intrigue…but you have to have the attitiude for this stuff or it just looks like rich rags.

  • RoseJB

    I’m seeing a lot of double slits in this season’s collections. Why is everyone so excited about loin cloths all of a sudden?

  • Isabel

    TLo – thanks for the great coverage! You are tireless! You keep up the spirit.

  • Synnamin

    They look both chic and comfy. I LOVE this collection, and they even look like they’d look good on a range of sizes

  • Monabel

    What delicious blues!

  • Trickytrisha

    Such bliss. Love it all, but would sell firstborn (maybe.. well, prolly not) to buy those blue sandals, all of ’em.
    Those hats add a touch of whimsy, which is welcome, as is the spare styling. The models are allowed to look like nice, normal women or girls. Very welcome indeed. Yay for DK.

  • Little_Olive

    I really wasn’t expecting this and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.
    Fresh, different and wearable (y’know, if one actually could).

  • Jacob Bowen

    I cannot see how ANY woman COULD wear the outfits that have sleeves (minus the one really pretty light brown leather jacket). All of the sleeves would drag anywhere the woman went. And, the necklines on a lot of these outfits are SUPER low.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    Luxe hippie. I love it. If only it were flattering to my figure.

  • Miss WKS

    Her geometric prints were influenced by Polynesian tapa and Hawaiian kapa cloth. Some of it lifted directly from Fijian barkcloth.

    • sleah_in_norcal

      i love the prints, but not what she did with them. the models can stop scowling now. they look like fools in those hats.

  • formerlyAnon

    Very appealing but definitely “approach with caution.” So much of this is unstructured and relatively voluminous one runs the risk of looking more like an unmade bed than fashionable. But well worth the time trying on and thinking how might mix pieces into an existing wardrobe.

  • steeg of their own

    A lot of these are so slouchy that I feel like any celeb who wears them is going to court pregnancy questions.

  • MzzPants

    Perhaps my demographic is showing, but I much prefer this to the DKNY collection. I’d wear any of the blue pieces for sure.

  • KaytJ

    I like it overall, especially the use of strong solids and interesting geometric patterns. Not digging the scarecrow look midway down, and what’s with the flattened handgun jewelry? But some very chic pieces, and I NEED that leather jacket in the look 7th from the bottom!

    • sleah_in_norcal

      glad to hear someone else saw the handguns. not appealing to me at all; east oakland discount mall chic.

  • Dawn Sinclair

    It reminds me of the collection Diane Von F would design if she’d been smokin’ AND inhaling, this is not a bad thing 😀

  • Levedi

    None for me thanks. I don’t hate it, I just don’t love it. I really did laugh out loud at the giant leather cowboy hat.

  • MoHub

    Did anyone else immediately think Mary Kate and Ashley? I could see them in every one of these, minus the hats.

  • Erica_Vuitton

    Leather jacket 7 up from the bottom, I would do very bad things to own it. Other than that its just too much fabric per garment for my taste.

  • Tatiana Luján

    The clothes may be pretty, have a strong and defined aesthetic, but I don’t want any of them.

  • mariahwg

    Other than a few stunners (those last few particularly), I find this all really sloppy and shapeless.

  • meowing

    The safari jeep ran over a few hats. Lots of Out of Africa, not much urban woman.

  • Lilak

    You’d better weigh no more than 115 lbs stretched out to at least 5’10” to even THINK of wearing any of this and not look like a pile of fabric overruns.

  • rebeemoon

    What I want: Everything here, a million dollars to purchase it with, and a pre-menopausal body that will allow me to fit in the clothes. This collection is TO DIE. The coats, the laser-cut tote bags, the prints, the material in that last dress . . . *swoon*

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I want all of the jackets, please.

  • Filmjen

    I like how all of the women look really strong in these clothes.

  • Therese Bohn

    I-Am-Woman-Boho-Cher-Funkadelia with a little Southwest flavor! Aside from the hats, I love it to pieces!

  • frannyprof

    I want it all.

  • Akmall Razlan

    this is amazing and very flattering on womens body, yup!

  • Katie

    I wish designers would stop doing one shoulder ‘sari-inspired’ designs and just send out models in freaking saris. Seriously, if women in New Dehli can wear jeans, women in New York can wear saris.

    • Tom and Lorenzo

      She’s be raked over the coals for cultural appropriation if she tried something like that and there’d be almost no likelihood that the line would sell well. Women in NY CAN wear saris – but they don’t.

  • oohsparkley!

    I love most of the looks and belts. The hats are silly. Love, love, love the last gown and most of the prints.