Donna Karan Pre Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Where Pre-fall for DKNY seemed a bit static, maybe even uncomfortably commercial, Donna Karan Collection reaffirmed Karan’s place among America’s most forward-thinking designers.

The vibrancy from spring’s tribal prints was replaced with a stern palette of black, deep blues, and graphite. But the Donna Karan woman was still as battle-ready as always. This time around she was stealthier, almost ninja-like, which was evident in the interesting play on classic couture silhouettes mixed with subtle references to Japanese origami and traditional Samurai costumes.

Those oversized obi belts and high waist trousers made this a collection all about fusion and proportion. There were tons of smart separates (the classic front-split pencil skirts, and an incredibly chic cropped leather jacket to spotlight a few). The real beauty of this collection was in this new origami-esque draping that was shown in a gorgeous white, duchesse satin jersey blouse (or was it a blazer?). The front of the hem was folded in on itself creating a three-dimensional floral effect that was incredibly sexy, almost as suggestive as an O’Keeffe painting.

The finale dress, in sultry midnight blue, echoed the same techniques. It cinched at the waist and exploded downward in organic-looking folds and loose pleats. You’ll definitely see this one on the Red Carpet come awards season.