Notes from Bernadine Morris…

Donna Karan/DKNY

In her DKNY collection, Donna Karan”s clothes were all young and swingy. For her regular collection shown a few days later, her clothes were mainly calf length or longer. They often had wide open necklines and the models all wore snugly fitted caps, usually black They fitted like turbans. Long and lean and quite sophisticated was the effect.

Predictably, black was dominant but there were some combinations like black with purple or green or royal blue. Would this long, skiny line dominate or would women prefer the short swingy DKNY look? It will be interesting to see if women are ready for long, skinny and sophisticated. Marc Jacobs seems to think so. But it’s a far cry from blue jean and flip-flops.

Ralph Lauren

Never mind being known as a brand. Ralph Lauren has become an icon. His clothes are always distinguished whether they are Western in style or formal. But this time he has outdone himself. He has introduced a fresh shape, often in coats, that is lively, young and flattering. It gives his collection a certain verve and a cohesion.

Basically it is a neatly fitted silhouette that whooshes out into fullness a few inches below the waist. It looks easy to wear as well as comfortable. It”s not the collection”s only theme, for there are also hand knit sweater jackets, suede jackets and dresses in the same fitted and full shape. But the fitted and full coats are so attractive and beautifully done that they give the clothes a special look. It is sure to give the Lauren clothes a special look this season.

He hasn”t forgotten about long evening dresses. They are usually black (velvet, satin and organza) and are long, svelte and imposing. They add to the special quality of the collection.

Ralph Rucci

Perhaps the most exciting thing of the week of showings was the reception given Chado Ralph Rucci. A standing ovation, no less. It was worth it. For these are the best clothes shown anywhere in the world. The craftsmanship is meticulous. It can’t be duplicated, even in the French couture. It is extraordinary that these clothes are produced in this country, with their basic simplicity, and elaborate working of fabrics. It is dressmaking of the highest art. We are fortunate to have these clothes in this country. It gives a special glow to New York’s fashion week.



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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