Donna Karan looked afar for her Spring 2012 collection, which had a powerful tribal element that was more queen-of-the-desert than girl-on-safari. Karan cited her recent travels in Haiti as inspiration, which would explain why Wyclef Jean sat front row, and received a big kiss from Karan during her final bow. Glamourous, body-hugging ruched gowns were rendered in earth tones like mud, sienna, black, and cream, and accessorized with incredible spiked necklaces, which made the tall, slender models with their slicked back ponytails seem regal. There were daytime options too, like an airy canvas full skirt covered in earth-toned brushstrokes and paired with a sexy cutout racer bra, and a tailored leather tent coat over a canvas and jersey dress. The key, though, was the body-flattering drape of the dresses. Karan might be designing from an intensely personal experience, but she always keeps the everyday woman in mind, and the precise ruching and draping reflected her knowledge of a woman's curves in all the right ways. Watch our runway video to see the gorgeous looks in motion!
The Outnet just started its ridiculous clearance sale today marking designer shoes, clothes, and accessories up to 85 percent off. That means pieces from brands like Proenza Schouler, Chloe, Balmain, and Alexander Wang are selling at prices we're not used to seeing. Think Dolce & Gabbana sandals for $114, Michael Kors dresses for $242, and Miu Miu booties for $108. Tempting, right? Check out our top 10 designer discounted picks right now and start shopping. Be warned — pieces are selling out faster than you can say hot cakes.
The message is clear: be it in a courtroom or heading to a black-tie ball, the Donna Karan woman is a rather seductive force to be reckoned with — especially when she's played by Brazilian bombshell model Isabeli Fontana. The campaign, shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin is set in various urbane locations. Click to see the entire campaign, and watch the short film the photographers directed on donnakaran.com.
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore teamed up with Sarah Jessica Parker for the first-ever Urban Zen Stephan Weiss Apple awards at Donna Karan's Urban Zen foundation in NYC last night. The ceremony was named in honor of Karan's late husband, Stephan Weiss, who passed away after a battle with cancer in 2001. Bill Clinton was there to pick up the inaugural Apple award while education activist Courtney Ross and Dr. Oz received other honors. The crowd included stars from music, fashion, and drama, including Keith Richards, Wyclef Jean, and Anna Wintour. A Valentino-clad Uma Thurman stepped out as well along with Michael Douglas. Michael spoke about his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones's recent health issues, saying, "She's great! She's down in Miami doing Rock of Ages, the musical. So she's doing great. She's doing a great job." Sarah Jessica's own partner, Matthew Broderick, was also away attending Morgan Freeman's AFI Tribute in LA.
Naomi Watts and her fellow Australians Hugh Jackman and Isla Fisher, in D&G, were among the celebrities who turned out for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on NYC's Governors Island yesterday. Nicky and Kathy Hilton were also on hand at the sporting grounds, where polo player and Ralph Lauren model Nacho Figueras showed off his skills on the field. Hugh sang a version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" to kick off the fourth annual match before taking his seat along the sidelines. Nacho's Black Watch team won the game, and once his work as an athlete was done, he changed into a Summer suit to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. The champagne was flowing at the Sunday soiree, and Donna Karan got the party started by teaming up with Wyclef Jean on the dance floor. Wyclef performed and lent his support to the event, which also served as a fundraiser for Donna's Hope Help & Rebuild Haiti nonprofit.
>> Vera Wang was on CNN this morning, weighing in who she hoped designed Kate Middleton's dress; but, now that it's been revealed to be Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, how do Burton's other designing colleagues rate the dress? (And one can't help but wonder what Alexander McQueen would have thought of a partnership between his label and Middleton, given that he once famously wrote "I am a c*nt" in the lining of a jacket destined for Prince Charles.) But without further ado . . .
Karl Lagerfeld: “[Middleton] is very elegant. The dress is classic and goes very well in the Westminster decor. It almost reminds me of (Queen) Elizabeth’s wedding, the royal weddings in the '50s. The proportion of the train is good. The lace is very pretty. I like the veil a lot.”
Christian Lacroix: “I like the dress very much, simpler than expected: A combination just in between 1956 Grace Kelly and 1947 Queen Elizabeth dress. I love the modest veil with the Queen Mother’s '30s scroll tiara and balanced volume of the whole gown. She’s radiant; she never was so beautiful. And Prince William’s red Irish uniform is gorgeous.”
Hubert de Givenchy: “The dress is very simple and very nice. The veil is a little flat, but because she has such a lovely face, she can afford to wear it this way. She is very pretty.”
Peter Copping of Nina Ricci: “Very much in a royal tradition, reminiscent of Queen Elizabeth’s — and a little bit Grace Kelly. She looks happy, radiant, and natural.”
Donatella Versace: "Kate's dress was beautiful. She looked very regal."
Prabal Gurung: “I thought it was pretty and appropriate. A high-profile wedding like this is not the place for making a crazy fashion moment. It sounds like an oxymoron but it was a personal moment in a very public place. The dress clearly said she’s a modern girl and of this generation. It was not McQueen at its theatrical sense but McQueen in its quiet but beautiful sense. I loved the bustle and how her silk tulle veil was moving softly in the wind.”
Jason Wu: “I thought Catherine’s dress looked stunning. The details were very well done and I loved the emphasis on craftsmanship and the use of British talent. Her choice to pay tribute to Alexander McQueen was both touching and exciting.”
Viktor & Rolf: “Kate’s dress was simply elegant. Her hair down was a beautiful and natural touch, and the tiara was stunning. She looked as at ease as humanly possible and was radiant. Our compliments.”
Diane von Furstenberg: “The dress was beautiful. I think she is irresistible, she is so beautiful. I am happy it was McQueen. It was absolutely the right thing to do. They made [the dress] simple, so it wasn’t costumey but a beautiful evening gown. I was happy for Sarah, happy for the Met, and happy for McQueen."
Tory Burch: “Kate looked stunning. Choosing Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen reflects Kate’s modern aesthetic and style, but the handmade lace details and craftsmanship are a great nod to British tradition. The lace, the clean lines of the dress, Queen Elizabeth’s tiara — every detail was stunning.”
Donna Karan: “The dress was extremely elegant. For me, it wasn’t so much about the dress though, it was all about her. She was the most beautiful bride in the world.”
Francisco Costa: “Kate’s dress had a classic elegance with a modern edge. The superb detailing really characterized Sarah’s expert hand.”
Oscar de la Renta: “She looked absolutely ravishing. She looked like a bride should look and she handled herself tremendously. And they look like a much loving couple. I am happy to see fresh blood coming into the family. It was a very traditional, beautiful dress which it needed to be for that kind of wedding. Most of all she devastated with her charm. Listen, she will wear anything and will look ravishing.”
Valentino: “I loved the dress . . . it was very simple and young even if a hint of Grace Kelly's dress spoke of 1950s! I loved the flounce on the back of the skirt and the little decoration all around the short veil. I loved the choice of the tiara: simple, pretty, very right for the dress and for her attitude . . . it was used almost as an hairpiece to keep the hair and the veil, not as a heavy decoration. Compared to the famous Diana’s dress, Diana’s was a dress of a fairy-tale princess . . . still a dress everybody remembers. Kate’s one is a very pretty, modern dress that will be copied everywhere but lacks that fairy-tale element. Today most of the new princesses are young, modern, nonroyal women who have clear ideas, independence from stiff protocol . . . they want to be themselves and not anymore a symbol of the crown.”
Reed Krakoff: “I thought the dress was very modern. It bridged the gap between modern and youthful, and was respectful to the position she is in. It didn’t look to traditional or expected though. I particularly liked the neckline. It was more youthful than I expected. The fact that the bodice was fitted and formfitting was great, because she is a beautiful young woman and it accentuated that.”
>> The latest Fall 2011 campaign scuttlebutt: Isabeli Fontana is taking the early lead, with campaigns for Escada and Donna Karan booked, and a rumored appearance for Bottega Veneta as well. Karan's campaign, which was captured by Patrick Demarchelier the past three seasons, was snapped by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for Fall 2011.
Meanwhile, Steven Meisel shot (and Karl Templer styled) the Fall 2011 Louis Vuitton campaign in New York yesterday — but there will reportedly be no Kate Moss appearance as there was on the runway. In fact, no supermodels will be featured at all: Instead, the six models chosen are said to be from the current generation — "Top 50-ish, a bit new. Nothing from the Icon list." Daphne Groeneveld and Fei Fei Sun are rumored to be among them.
Versace, like Donna Karan, is also switching up photographers — after going with Mario Testino for the past eight seasons, Donatella Versace has chosen Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott to do the Fall 2011 honors (with styling by Joe McKenna). Originally, the Versace campaign, like Vuitton, was reportedly supposed to feature six models, including Candice Swanepoel and Groeneveld, but the photographers are rumored to have settled instead on one girl with "short dark hair" who is a "cover star." Some are thinking that might indicate Saskia de Brauw as Versace's new girl.
To round out the Fall 2011 campaign placements so far, Juergen Teller shot Irina Kulikova yesterday for Moschino at Turin's Ristorante del Cambio, Ralph Lauren has reportedly cast its runway opener Sui He, and Liu Wen is rumored to be in the upcoming Dolce & Gabbana campaign.
A few images from the various shoots in the gallery.
>> Designers are well-represented at the Academy Awards when it comes to gowns, but a few made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles themselves to have their own Oscars red carpet moment. Georgina Chapman, Valentino Garavani, and Tara Subkoff made an awards appearance, while Diane von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Jason Wu, Tom Ford and the like hobnobbed later at Vanity Fair's after party.