DKNY shows real people on the runway

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Sunday

12:45 p.m.
After hitching a ride with some editor friends being chauffeured around in a blue Bentley (score!) I’ve arrived at DKNY a bit early. So I have a look at the press notes, which emphasize that the collection, called New York Mash Up, will be about “old school/new school,” “chic with street” and about “real people/real style.”

1:15 p.m.
People are cheering. That never happens. Runway shows are generally serious affairs filled with serious, poker-faced models and fashionistas. But here, Donna Karan and team have replaced the usual waif-y mannequins with a mix of artists, writers, DJs, performers and girls about town — Angel Haze, A$AP Illz and Hannah Bronfman are getting the loudest woo-hoos — to drive home the collection’s “real people/real style” theme. The “models” are all so diverse and United Colors of Benneton-y with their perfectly high cheekbones, mussed fros, artfully dyed hair and elaborate tattoo sleeves. When did “real” New York become so pretty?

But we’re here to talk about the clothes, and it’s frankly nice to see them on a wider range of bodies. The collection is built around black — that classic New York go-to color — with a few graphic moments of white, navy, pink, gray and yellow mixed in. What stands out is how edgy the clothes have become over the past few seasons. Five years ago, I associated DKNY with cute, feminine dresses for that entry-level working girl shopping for her first job. But the collection has evolved to a place that feels a little more left-of-center, cooler (with an Opening Ceremony collab under its belt to prove it) and in tune with the brand’s streetwear roots. Standouts include the range of outerwear such as a fur-sleeved parka, a long pink shearling number and a series of graphic, striped shearling coats.

The scene
Good times and smiles all around, with a front row that included Rita Ora and Victoria Justice.

The playlist
“Break Ya Back” by Timbaland
“New York” by Angel Haze

The major trends
Sporty sweats, pink, contrasting textures, blanket layering and shaggy outerwear

What this will mean for your wardrobe
All the sporty looks you’ve bought have at least another season or two left in them.



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