DKNY pays homage to New York, Beckham’s safari chic

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US designer Donna Karan sent models down the runway in an explosion of color while Victoria Beckham plumped for safari chic in stark contrasts on the fourth day of New York Fashion Week on Sunday.

Karan’s spring/summer 2015 collection for her DKNY line was one of infinite color and texture encapsulating modern classics, sports elements and playful geometry in “a sexy mix of street and chic.”

An iconic New York designer, she paid homage to the Big Apple as “the world in one place” and as multicolored, multicultural and multitasking.

Her models sashayed down the runway at top speed in blazing red, ink blue, green, mustard, nude, black and white, all mixed up and mixed together in different materials, in a loft above the High Line public walkway.

A micro gold mini skirt was worn over a longer skirt in black; silk and linen bomber jackets were either cropped or oversized, as were hooded coats and colorful sweaters sometimes falling to the knee. Flared dresses with bare backs were worn with sneakers.

As in Karan’s previous season, seven ordinary New York women took part in the runway show.

– Beckhams front row –

Across town, Spice Girl turned footballer’s wife turned respected designer Beckham unveiled a collection showcasing safari chic and her first shoe line.

Husband David, popular in the United States thanks to his retail underwear line and footballing career at LA Galaxy, sat in the front row next to English editor-in-chief of Vogue Anna Wintour.

But while the whole family turned out for her 2014 fall/winter show, there was no sign of the couple’s three younger children — only eldest child Brooklyn, 15, who this year made his modeling debut.

Victoria said the imminent opening of her first flagship store in London had “inspired and pushed” her “to focus on the DNA of my brand more than ever.”

Long a fan of a very precise, tailored silhouette, her spring/summer 2015 collection showcased a safari look.

There were mini-dresses with boxy pockets, hopsack-style; a long, belted coat; shirts with shoulder pads; a black jacket with shoulder pads worn over a long white dress with wide black stripes at the bottom.

– Safari to florals –

There were also some floral prints, a rarity for Beckham.

She said she wanted to create “an eclectic uniform in the form of an exact yet wearable wardrobe that embodies the evolution of the collection.”

But the chatter after the show was all about her shoe collection: towering platform black sandals edged with beige, and white leather flats decorated with flowers.

“I have designed the show shoes under my own name in my London atelier for the first time,” she said.

“Creating all the elements of the collection under one roof enabled me to complete and strengthen the silhouette and this has been key in the design journey for me.”

Late Saturday, New York Fashion Week saw steely urban innovation from US star Alexander Wang and sensual gingham from the French-born Joseph Altuzarra.

“Inspiration came to me when I saw the film Rosemary’s Baby,” Altuzarra told AFP. He described the Oscar-winning horror flick as “very pretty but also very sinister.”

“And I also saw the film ‘Barry Lyndon’. It had a very romantic side but was also quite sad. And it is this feminity which interests me.”

The gingham in his collection is picked out in cotton, crepe de chine, viscose, pink, black and blue. The cut was elegant and structured, straight skirts with splits, dresses decorated at the neck and fine pearl embroidery.

He showed light-weight tailored gingham suiting and body skimming dresses in soft pastels, seams sliced open and tied together with ribbon to reveal skin.

Diane von Furstenberg and Anthony Vaccarello, presenting his first runway show for Versus Versace, were other anticipated highlights on Sunday.

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