Since Donna Karan’s departure this summer, the DKNY brand has been on the verge of collapse until Public School’s creative directors quickly stepped in and took the reins.
Both Maxwell Osbourne and Dao-Yi Chow were asked to raise the game for the New York brand and bring back its edgy appeal starting with their SS16 show – and they didn’t disappoint.
This season we saw a haunting revival for DKNY; the location was in none other than New York’s newly built One World Trade Center which was rather fitting; it seemed like a fresh start for both the Big Apple and the brand that has encapsulated the city’s energy since 1984.
Spotted on the simple, white FROW benches were fashion’s elite Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington before the room turned dark and lights flashed as the show began.
The first looks set the masculine mood with a monochrome palette. One might argue that black ankle boots with small fishnet socks aren’t the most summery of staples but DKNY paired these with simple white shorts and cropped pinstripe jackets with cinched waists.
The show moved on and dark wrap skirts with floaty, below-the-knee hems were paired with crisp work shirts in brilliant white. Sleeveless peplum tops with boat necks made an appearance along with low-cut V-neck dresses layered over t-shirts. Models sported an occasional red lip and straight, effortless hair behind their ears.
Straight coats accessorised with chunky belts in charcoal washes were rocked with bare legs and the same mannish shoes. The collection echoed a slight nod back to the ‘80s with power shoulders on jet-black, boxy collared blazers but the sporty theme of DKNY was apparent with more plain silhouettes in the form of short skirts and loose shorts. The one and only drop of colour came in the simple statement of an electric blue, below-the-knee dress with long, sheer sleeves which loosened the sharp theme.
Imagine a powerful businesswoman meets the sportiness of summer and you get DKNY SS16. If Osbourne and Chow’s one job was to put the energetic ‘NY’ back into DKNY then they’ve ticked all the boxes and certainly put the brand back on the fashion map.