I had the pleasure of attending both the Donna Karan and Oscar de la Renta runway shows this week in New York and had two completely different experiences. I saw the Donna Karan show first on Tuesday. It was held in an open space in Chelsea that was surrounded by paparazzi and filled with celebrities. Everything about the atmosphere was dramatic – the mood, the music, the models. The thing that stands out most in my mind though was the makeup. Each rail thin model had eyes surrounded with bold pink make-up that immediately caught my attention. I was not particularly impressed with the Donna Karan collection, but I did like the dusty pastel color pallet that was used and presented in perfect visual order. To me, this show was more about the ambiance than the collection. I found the opposite to be true at the Oscar de la Renta show. That show was held in a large Bryant Park high rise that houses many of the top showrooms. I have spent many hours of my life writing orders in this building and was not excited about it being used as a venue for one of the top designer fashion shows. By setting the venue for the show in a place where many people in fashion work every day, it made the experience feel less like a celebration of a collection and more like just another day. The decor was even worse. It was all white, with slightly too bright of lighting and a makeshift runway. The cost of the space might have been less than one Oscar gown! That being said, the collection was breathtaking and incredibly diverse. There was everything from gowns to evening shorts to a shockingly short pink feathered cocktail dress. Each model had bright colored highlights that added the right amount of edge to each look. Unlike Donna Karan, the Oscar show was all about the clothes and they were certainly some clothes.

 

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