Sporty. Cool. Just a touch urban. All NYC. That’s the DKNY brand and this afternoon’s show absolutely did not disappoint on any of those factors. Okay, so I do find the oversized ribbed knit sweaters a bit curious, considering this is a spring/summer collection that we’re talking about. But then, remember back to last spring in New York? It was the middle of May before anyone could put away their overcoats! Considering that spring/summer looks have pretty much taken over everyone’s shelves and hangers by mid-March in the average year, perhaps it’s not a bad idea to have a few large sweaters in the mix.

This is a very fun collection that I think speaks to the changing needs and attitudes of women in most any city, not just New York. Skirt lengths are longer because, dang it, even in June and July some of those early morning winds are a bit chilly, and then, have you been in some of those office buildings? I swear half of them keep the AC turned down to 65 from April onward. This layered look, which is definitely a strong trend this season, works well for those conditions, too. The layers in this DKNY collection work well either direction. If one has to remove a layer in the middle of the day one is still going to look just as sharp as when they came in.

Well, okay, let me backtrack that last statement a bit. The busy pattern with the green, yellow, and red striped skirt? Yeah, one might want to be a bit careful with that one. Going back and looking at the pictures now rather makes my eyes hurt.

Oh, but there are some really cool materials at play here, though. Tech mesh isn’t exactly too new, but it is still fresh enough that my eyes take notice every time I see it used.  Sequins on crepe is a great way to give a garment some sparkly without looking like one is entering the little miss preschool pageant. Then, she puts double-faced mesh to good use in some black pieces that need a little extra strength in their construction. Some of these clothes toward the end of the collection start looking a little tough, as though they might just cut you if you say the wrong thing. But hey, parts of NYC are just like that. One has to behave but not back down.

Two things don’t entirely work for me. First, there’s those giant rounded, and rather heavily padded, shoulders. After they’ve been washed three or four times and relax a bit, they’re cool. But have you ever been on a crowded subway with someone wearing one of those for the first time? Let me tell you, one has to give the girl some extra space to get in before the door closes; on some sweet people, they can come off looking more like NFL shoulder pads. Down, set … Then, there’s those platform sneakers. Not everyone is 5′ 10″, I get that. Vertically challenged people like to see above the chair rail, too. Treat them like dress platforms, though. You’re not going to running a marathon in these things. You’re not going to have any success rushing to beat that traffic light, either. Just because they look like sneakers up top doesn’t mean they wear like sneakers.

I really like the attitude Donna has given the DKNY brand the past several seasons. These are fun clothes that speak volumes about the people wearing them. Good volumes. Good people. Good clothes. We could use more like this.

Photo credit: Guilliame Roujas

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