The models’ union won’t be worrying about this line-up as Donna Karan plucked a smattering of creative locals to star in her DKNY show
Certain things are a given when you go a DKNY show; the spindly-legged block signs will all get knocked over, the music will be fun, and someone will act as if slapped when gently asked to find their seat half an hour after the whole shebang was due to begin.
And lo, it all came to pass again.
What was fresh at this show though, was that team DKNY crossed the model picket-line and sprinkled its catwalk with a cast of young, non-model New Yorkers.
Before the show, Karan screened a film of her fetching focus group singing the city’s praises. Someone mentioned Greenpoint and hardcore punk; tick, tick. Then, scattered amongst the models, out they came; the geezers were artists or TV presenters or skaters or photographers, and favoured coloured hair and tattoos.
The girls included a fair smattering of ‘photographer/models’, artists, students and a nightclub hostess. All of them looked fun. And as this was Karan’s catwalk, all of them were, naturally, top-to-toe in new-season DKNY.
Which rang false. Seriously; a self-respecting ‘hardcore punk’ skater in head to toe DKNY? Or a self-proclaimed DJ/Writer’?
Professional catwalk models provide a relatively neutral – if extremely tall and terribly skinny – human template upon which designers can present their collections. Chuck in a load of defined personalities, and those personalities impose themselves on the clothes. When, as here, the imposition rings false, the exercise ultimately seems insincere.
There were, though, one or two moments when the looks – costumes, really – segued sweetly with the person wearing them. A graphic designer named Anna Bowman, for instance, looked peroxide-perfect in a pink-lined cape dress.
The collection too was rather pasta chucked pell-mell at a wall: only some of it was well done enough to stick.
There were sections of lace, houndstooth, and heavy leather dresses and pants. The coats were pretty good, and a sporty/goth Margot Tenenbaum vibe bubbled up nicely via zebra-crossing furs worn over Hogan-high trainers. Just to remind us about DKNY’s provenance there were all-black Yankees caps.