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Cast your vote for fashion. Donna Karan is running on a nature platform; Carolina Herrera favors strengthening East-West relations, and Tommy Hilfiger's ballot is full of all-American preppy candidates.
Donna Karan: Was anyone surprised to read that Donna Karan was "embracing nature" this season, as her program proclaimed? Water, wind, rocks the elements are always on her mind. What's remarkable is her ability to constantly reimagine them as she did for her spring offering a true natural beauty.
The set, a sand-covered runway and canyonlike backdrop out from which appeared Karlie Kloss, stunning in a slinky, silk slipdress and short stretch jacket crinkled to deliberate imperfection, a prime example of the collection's most important look. From there came a legion of desert queens, each one cast in a soft, tonal nude or neutral. The silhouette was long and lean with loads of filmy dresses and skirts cut on the bias for a delicate sensuality. Some of the best were for day a very sexy day such as shirtdresses, both casually seductive with plunging necklines, one sleeveless in crushed cupro, the other, a robe of airy silk chiffon.
Though Karan's world is typically one of yin and yang, each feminine wile checked by a masculine counterpoint, this time the vibe was all woman. Even the meatier, more structured pieces mainly jackets and skirts done in crumpled, sculpted twill were molded to accentuate the female form of which this was a celebration. It intensified for evening with more bias gowns, whose ruffled trims gave a nod to the Thirties. It was all gorgeous through and through.
Carolina Herrera: Thematic fashion is risky business. On one hand, the industry, particularly the audience at a runway show, loves a context; on the other, there's nothing worse than a gimmick. This season, Carolina Herrera found herself negotiating a tricky middle ground complicated by the fact that she chose to work with not one, but two ultraspecific themes. The dominant motif was Asian, specifically Korean, according to show notes, that was reflected by intricate folds, a bird print and knotted belts. Then there was a major floral moment inspired by traditional 18th-century botanical plates at times translated all too literally into blown-out prints. …