Donna Karan turns to real people for her DKNY show
5:28 PM, Feb 9, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) -- If you've ever watched a fashion show and said to yourself, "Those aren't real people out there on the runway," Donna Karan has an answer for that.
For her DKNY runway show Sunday, Karan presented - along with the models, of course - an assortment of non-models: A DJ. A TV presenter. A printmaker. A few students. A biologist, a "night life hostess," and, in the most intriguing entry in the show's written program, a "tattoo artist/ pro skateboarder."
The "real people" (not that you aren't real, models, but your looks are rather unreal) walked the runway with confidence, and drew enthusiastic cheers. Some were built almost like models, others weren't, and some even had (gasp) gray hair, but they all looked great in Karan's colorful clothes.
The show began with a short film featuring the young New Yorkers about to walk the runway, speaking about where they live - Greenpoint in Brooklyn, for example, and Tribeca - and why they came to New York.
Angel Haze, a musician, wore a favorite DKNY look: a long black faux fur vest. Devan Mayfield, a painter and a health practitioner, wore a crepe houndstooth and lace shift dress. Daniel Bamdad, a TV presenter, wore slim black jeans and a black cotton cutoff shirt. Masha Korchagina, an actress and biologist, wore a black and white shearling "cape vest." Melissa Burns, the nightlife hostess, wore a striped shearling coat.
Some of the nice looks went to the models, too, including an edgy black vinyl pleated slip dress, a delicate gray lace dress with a pleated hem, and the filmy silk, lace and flannel long slip dress that closed the show - all in gray.
Singer Rita Ora, who appeared in the first DKNY campaign, was in the audience. In September, she walked the DKNY runway to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the line, which is more casual than Karan's higher-end signature line, and geared toward the younger consumer.
"When I saw her in the first DKNY campaign, I said, that's DKNY, you know?" Karan said afterward backstage. "I think she inspired everything that you see today - that uniqueness, the energy."
Karan said she decided to display non-models because "DKNY really is about the streets. It's about the streets of New York, the energy of New York, the people of New York. "