Intents: The Fashion Week Midterm Report or Why Donna Matters

04/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It is now officially midweek in the fabulous frenzy that is New York Fashion Week. The trends for next fall/winter have been spotted: masculine/feminine, the tomboy look, cozy oversized sweaters, vests and cocoon coats, lots of leather and black, black and more black. The runways this week resemble a convention of Sicilian widows. Vera Wang, Nicole Miller and exciting newbie Joseph Altuzarra devoted whole collections to it. But then came Donna.

Now celebrating her 25th anniversary, many credit Donna Karan with inventing a uniquely powerful, yet feminine way of dressing for the modern urban woman. It has lots to do with the simple yet brilliant way she drapes, and the wonderful fabrics she uses. But whatever the ingredients, Donna was always one of us. She is not only our friend, she is the best buddy who knows exactly what you are looking for. And then she provides a dress that is comfortable and still makes you look sexy, in a good, not cheesy way. She knows because she's one of us. She is an attractive woman with a real job, a real family, and most important of all, a real body. And she understands what works in our real lives. She is one of us, only better because she has real style. And it is ageless.

Yesterday's show proved it once again. In spite of a sprinkling of color here and there, the show was themed "Forever Black". It was an exercise in mixing textures and molding forms. Big collars fancy in fur or chic in silk crepe. Coats in wool tweeds and shearling lace, all shaped in the signature rounded, sculpted forms that have flattered and served us so well. Happy Anniversary, Donna Karan.

And while we're speaking of grown up women dressing other grown up women, let's not forget Carolina Herrera, who also showed yesterday. Carolina's ladies are a bit more grand but always chic. They are seriously elegant to a fault, just like Carolina herself. Yesterday's show opened with a series of stunning shirts and tailored trousers covered by little fur jackets, or jackets that were trimmed in fur. The effect was throwaway luxe and totally glamorous. After a year in which luxury has been shunned, Carolina's ladies are once again living large, with fur collars on jackets, dresses and just about anything that moved. Her evening gowns were lovely, lavish and made you want to celebrate! Something we all haven't felt in a long time!