When Donna Karan is asked if the term “age-appropriate dressing” is a useful one, she succinctly offers this response: “Feeling good is the most appropriate way to dress at any age. That’s the goal. The older you get, the more you know your body and style and what looks good.”
It is precisely this type of conviction that makes the 63-year-old New Yorker one of the most consistently well-reviewed fashion designers in America. Case in point? Her Spring 2012 collection was praised for its prints inspired by the work of Haitian painter Philippe Dodard, whom Karan discovered while travelling to Haiti in 2010 for philanthropic work. For Fall 2012, Karan injected an extra ounce of esteem into her designs, naming her ready-to-wear collection WoMan because, she says, “it’s about the strength and shoulder of a man with the sensuality and sculpture of a woman’s body.” Echoing Karan’s longstanding mission to redefine what womenswear can be, her latest designs aim to combine yin, yang and Zen.
“I was striving to empower women through a marriage of strength and softness,” she says. “A well-shouldered, well-tailored jacket gives you a sense of authority and therefore confidence.” Aside from actual clothes, Karan notes that there is another way to fuel your personal style: “Listen to your inner voice,” she suggests, “not outside ones.”
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