Thursday, June 02, 2011

DSKNY: Fashion and Women's Rights

The ugly incident with Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York which caused a renewed world-wide debate on the treatment of women, the abuse of power and position by men and of course on the balance of press freedom and privacy has inspired me, among other things, to produce this t-shirt design.

It is of course a variation of the famous DKNY by the American designer Donna Karan which many women have been wearing for years on their shirts – as a fashion item, but also as a statement of support for the working women philosophy as expressed in Donna Karan's work. 

Donna Karan became famous in the 80s when she took over as the leading designer at Anne Klein. I had a brief passionate affair with fashion journalism back then writing for Russian and American press. I even had a cover story in W magazine (my feature is pre-internet, not on their site). I've moved on since, but have kept an interest in design and fashion, especially where it reflects the public agenda.

Interviewing Donna Karan I was very much impressed with her ideas for creating stylish clothes for working women. She designed them with liberation in mind – liberation from worries about what to wear and how to look great. Her clothes do look great, but they are also comfortable at work and easy to rearrange so that a formal professional look magically changes to casual, or casual smart, or even very smart evening look, all by adding or removing a few elements, a jacket, a scarf, a piece of jewellery, the elements that can be taken along to wherever a woman's day takes her.

Other designs make it easy to disguise what a woman might think of as her 'problem' body areas and also to look different every day without having to invest in several different full sets of clothes.

The design is available on (click on 'Choose design' and type DSKNY in the search window, then adjust the position of design and choose the size and whatever else you want to customise).

Wikipedia on Donna Karan here.
Photo of DSK from here, cropped in Pages, read how to crop a photo using Pages here.
A slightly more technical version of this post is on I Work in Pages.

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