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Donna Karan turns to real people for her DKNY show

Donna Karan Turns to Real People for Her DKNY Show

NEW YORK (AP) - If you've ever watched a fashion show and said to yourself, "Those aren't real people out there on the runway," Donna Karan has an answer for that.

For her DKNY runway show Sunday, Karan presented - along with the models, of course - an assortment of non-models: A DJ. A TV presenter. A printmaker. A few students. A biologist, a "night life hostess," and, in the most intriguing entry in the show's written program, a "tattoo artist/ pro skateboarder."

The "real people" (not that you aren't real, models, but your looks are rather unreal) walked the runway with confidence, and drew enthusiastic cheers. Some were built almost like models, others weren't, and some even had (gasp) gray hair, but they all looked great in Karan's colorful clothes.

The show began with a short film featuring the young New Yorkers about to walk the runway, speaking about where they live - Greenpoint in Brooklyn, for example, and Tribeca - and why they came to New York.

Angel Haze, a musician, wore a favorite DKNY look: a long black faux fur vest. Devan Mayfield, a painter and a health practitioner, wore a crepe houndstooth and lace shift dress. Daniel Bamdad, a TV presenter, wore slim black jeans and a black cotton cutoff shirt. Masha Korchagina, an actress and biologist, wore a black and white shearling "cape vest." Melissa Burns, the nightlife hostess, wore a striped shearling coat.

Some of the nice looks went to the models, too, including an edgy black vinyl pleated slip dress, a delicate gray lace dress with a pleated hem, and the filmy silk, lace and flannel long slip dress that closed the show - all in gray.

Karan said she decided to use non-professional models because "DKNY really is about the streets. It's about the streets of New York, the energy of New York, the people of New York. "

Attending the show was actress Victoria Justice, star of Nickelodeon's "Victorious," who said she's always been a big fan of Karan's. "She is such an iconic designer, and I came to the show last year for the first time, and there was this pair of black leather boots from the fall collection, and I actually own them now, which I'm very excited about," Justice said.

Justice said attending Fashion Week was "super fun. It's cool to see all the new looks and all the new hairstyles of everything."

Singer Rita Ora was also in the audience. She walked the DKNY runway last September to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the line, which is more casual than Karan's higher-end signature line, and geared toward younger consumers.

Ora said a few words - but wouldn't give anything away - about the forthcoming film "50 Shades of Grey," in which she plays protagonist Christian Grey's sister. "We're just filming at the moment," she said. "Everybody's been asking me but honestly I can't spoil it, so you're all going to (have to) watch it. It's amazing and I'm so happy to be a part of it."

Karan said she plans to see the film: "Absolutely!"

Join the discussion

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saldsi February 10 2014 at 11:16 AM

Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist perfume is great! I buy it for my wife every holiday!

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Sylvia February 10 2014 at 12:01 PM

Great idea. Real people are the ones that will wear the clothes.

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enhi February 10 2014 at 12:31 PM

Go Donna Karan!!!!! I love her things and now even more.

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niecey8024 February 10 2014 at 12:52 PM

Kudos to her!!!!! Now if other designers would follow suit....an then use plus size people also.....let's face it. Not everyone is a model.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
rgwpaintart February 10 2014 at 11:08 AM

Very good move.

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mish42 February 10 2014 at 1:13 PM

i think that is wonderful that she does that, but if she could do something like that for me-KNOW THAT WOULD REALLY BE UNREAL>

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lbreamer February 10 2014 at 10:34 AM

Hey, good for Donna Karan! That's really cool!!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
bleepsn1034 February 10 2014 at 10:11 AM

As opposed to the Simulated humans she was using previously?

Headline fail

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cgreen2049 February 10 2014 at 9:53 AM

Kudos to Donna Karan!!! I thought the Baby Boomers would revolutionize the super skinny image of beauty and I have been greatly disappointed. Donna has restored my hope. It is also very nice to see larger women grace the covers of fashion magazines and ads. Let's finally give everybody, especially those who aren't thin, the feeling of being beautiful and a part of all things beautiful, including modeling at fashion shows.

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1 reply
azinv cgreen2049 February 10 2014 at 12:00 PM

Sorry you're fat.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Sammy February 10 2014 at 9:28 AM

You mean that models we have been seeing on the runway all these years are artificial people? Damn, robotics has really come a long way.

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1 reply
glers Sammy February 10 2014 at 9:39 AM

if only!

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