There have been too many gray days this summer -- including yesterday, when I had planned a beach get-away day, but was bested by anti-beach weather! Flipping through the August issue of Vogue in the afternoon to brighten my cloudy mood, my eyes land on a sparkling, dark brown pair of smoky eyes. Those eyes, belonging to Australian model Catherine O'Neil, who posed seductively in a jacket from the Donna Karan's Fall 2013 Collection called "Cold Shoulder" featuring cutout shoulders, were anything but cold. This ad was hot!
Browsing though Designer Donna Karan's Fall 2013 ad campaign on her website (www.donnakaran.com), suddenly the sun comes out on my gray Thursday, or maybe it was just a reflection of a soft shaft of sunlight illuminating the face of sexy Andres Velencoso, the recipient of Ms. O'Neil's seductive stare. This Spanish model has burned up the pages major fashion magazines in ad campaigns for Banana Republic, Chanel, Elie Tahari, H&M, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Louis Vuitton and others over the past decade.
The combination of Ms. O'Neil and Mr. Segura, two international modeling hotties, was volatile enough, but adding Swedish photographer Mikael Jansson to the mix ignited a smoldering story blending sexuality and sculpture with fashion and fabric to produce a photographic masterpiece. These prematurely gray, cool days tend to bring our focus to fall and an ad campaign like this one certainly turns up the heat on fall fashion.
Ms. Karan, a native of Long Island, is currently creating new fashion masterpieces for her Spring 2014 Collection to be presented during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 (MBFW Spring 2014). Her off-site show on Monday, September 9th will be at the Cedar Lake Studios, 547 West 26th Street in New York City. (To see the designers showing at Lincoln Center check the website http://www.mbfashionweek.com/schedule)
I imagine as she's putting the finishing touches on her Spring 2014 offering, she's also incorporating aspects of her husband's craft into her own. In an interview earlier this year with Women's Wear Daily, Ms. Karan shared a revelation about her husband, Stephan Weiss, who was raised in Cedarhurst, on Long Island. “I never realized the similarity between how we thought," Ms. Karan said of Mr. Weiss, who the New York Times referred to as her "most trusted critic and muse," in an article following his death in June 2001. "Stephan did my fragrance bottles. He was my partner in business. He was everything. When I put on the show [Fall 2013], I thought, ‘Oh my God, he did with clay and I do it with fabric.'” This entire Fall 2013 ad campaign seems a fitting tribute to Ms. Karan's late husband Stephan Weiss, a sculptor and painter and an unlikely Seventh Avenue fashion executive, who brought his sculptor's eye into the fashion business.
I am excited about being dazzled by the bright colors of spring on the runways for MBFW Spring 2014. But just for a few days, I'm embracing the gray, because Ms. Karan's Fall 2014 Collection highlights many shades of gray -- ash, slate, asphalt. Yes, there is some black, beige, brown and flashes of metallic elements, but it's gray that got me. Take a look at Donna Karan's Fall 2013 Collection at www.saksfifthavenue.com and you'll see what I mean. And don’t blame me if you’re in full fall shopping mode by Saturday when the temperature may exceed 80 degrees, and I'm headed to the beach.