Donna Karan’s 7 Easy Pieces

22nd July, 2013

DK7EasyPieces1Over the past week we’ve taken several trips along fashion’s memory lane; from Salt-n-Pepa in gold chains and JLo in velour to London’s punks in trash bag couture, fashion has consistently shaped the framework of our lives and times. Many trends come and go with the ever-changing zeitgeist, and few are the movements that have had as lasting an impact on the way women dress as Donna Karan’s 7 Easy Pieces, a concept first debuted in 1985 that continues to shape the sartorial landscape of today.

In its first incarnation, the idea centered around the bodysuit ~ a garment whose cultural relevance is quickly trickling back to fashion’s forefront. That seminal show opened with eight models dressed only in black bodysuits and tights; they next began slowly adding wrap skirts, pull-on knit pants, tailored jackets and all sorts of cashmere layers. A revolution had begun.
DK7EasyPieces2Like I mentioned HERE, I’ve been avoiding the city this summer, having escaped to Montauk for some breathing room and creative rejuvination. I’ve been needing a break, and it’s given me a fresh space to play in my working life. I’ve been so inspired by the scenery, the pace of life, and the aloha atmosphere of this place. The eye has to travel! Donna Karan’s own journey has taken her from quintessential city gal to globally-aware, zen-centric philanthropist ~ an evolution that has only served to prove the extreme versatility of this system of dress. 7 Easy Pieces is about finding freedom in simplification. The bodysuit, for starters, works as well in the urban office as it does with a Balinese sarong in a sleepy seaside town.DK7EasyPieces3DK7EasyPieces4Women’s lives and the opportunities available to us have come a long way since 1985, and the ways in which we outfit ourselves have evolved accordingly. Even this concept is more flexible than ever: which 7 pieces make your life easier? In Donna Karan’s world, knitwear (and especially cashmere!) has always featured heavily in answering this question, in crafting wash-and-go clothes that travel as well as they wear.
DK7EasyPieces5DK7EasyPieces6My own interpretation of the concept requires pieces that are inherently transformable: I will always, always buy an item that can truly be worn in multiple ways. This knitted sliver of sequins is the perfect example. Shimmy it over your hips, and you’ve got yourself a savagely sexy little pencil skirt
DK7EasyPieces7…or unfurl that waistband, hoist the whole thing up, and now you have a completely classic cocktail frock:
DK7EasyPieces8DK7EasyPieces9Great black jackets have always been wardrobe cornerstones in Karan’s system, and crucial in my own life as well. Lately, the versions she’s doing in leather simply slay me. The arms are cut extra long and lean, with hidden knit panels that make them comfier than any sweatshirt.
DK7EasyPieces10Paired with pull-on black pants, you’ll feel like you’re in yoga clothes all day, but no one else will know it. That, to me, is Donna’s genius: as a woman, designing for women, she’s changing the system from within. What used to be about helping us hold our own in a man’s world is now about giving us just what we want in a universe we finally co-own.DK7EasyPieces11DK7EasyPieces12There’s one thing, however, that is as true for any man as it is for me: one can never have too many classic white shirts. They comprise a major subcategory of my closet, and still it thrills me to discover a special new specimen. I especially love when they’re cut long and tunic-like, with floppy French cuffs and crisply starched finishing. DK7EasyPieces13But what we have that men do not is the ultimate go-to: the classic black dress. Hats off to Donna Karan for giving us new and perfect versions of this stylish stalwart, season after season, and for inspiring and empowering womankind to be both powerful and glamorous for going on 30 years!DK7EasyPieces14|MY 7 EASY PIECES| 1/ black bodysuit 2/ cashmere tunic 3/ versatile skirt 4/ great tailored jacket 5/ bootcut pants 6/ classic white shirt 7/ little black dress |PHOTOS| by James Katsipis |SHOT| on location in Montauk, NY |IN COLLABORATION| with the great Donna Karan New York and Nordstrom

  • Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie

    Breathtaking shots! <3

  • Elisa

    i’ve always loved DKNY something about their items are simple yet chic and elegant!

  • t
  • Mara

    you have nice style and you are also a pretty girl; but what I don’t like is that in most of your pictures you keep your mouth open. Looks silly in my opinion, on you and all other models who think they look better if they keep their mouth open. People don’t walk on the street like that. Just picture that and you will find that silly too.

  • Nico

    Such an amazing post, these shors are magnificent and I like how you styled these clothes!

    New outfit post->

  • Elizabeth Polanco

    Really beautiful shots! Donna Karan understands the need for classic pieces that can be worn again and again. I loved the sequined pencil skirt.

  • adela cechova

    Amazing! Great post. Beautiful photos! I love Donna Karan.
    Adela x

  • Meelena L

    gorgeous pictures!


  • These shots are stunning. The lighting is incredible! Oh & that leather jacket is a winner!

  • Lulu Amin – ART LUXE STYLE

    These images are breathtaking!

  • Dean Corno

    I really enjoyed reading this post and looking at these photos. It was so well written and you styled the pieces wonderfully.

  • Trisha

    Gorgeous!!!! I need that DVF skirt in my closet!!

  • Trisha

    I meant DKNY

  • Denisa

    Beautiful pics. Great day.

  • Berty Morales

    I love DKNY!, and all of these looks are breathtaking. You look stunning and the photos are gorgeous.

  • Chantel

    Fabulous photos.

  • Fantastic photos! I especially like the ones taken at twilight. You 7 easy pieces are spot on.


  • Sarita Williams

    I felt as though you took me on a journey through Donna Karan’s collection of basics! Great post.

    Sarita W.

  • Cristina Monti

    You look absolutely stunning
    Check out:
    Instagram: @cristinamonti
    Tweet me: @thebohoflow

    With Love,

  • Royal Wang

    Can you please tell me who take your pics it was awesome like a big issue of magazine

    • theglamourai

      This story was shot by James Katsipis, a supremely talented Montauk-based photographer:


  • Kim

    My favorite shoot of you. WOW!

  • anonymous

    Ha, I bet Karan’s leather jackets slay Rick Owens too, whose design she it totally ripping off. Montauk looks gorgeous though, I am jealous. xx

  • This is a freakin stellar shoot! These pictures look photoshopped and you look super-imposed, they’re THAT pretty. Holy shit. Well done, lady!

    xo Ashley

  • CarolinaG

    I loved it!!!!
    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

  • Great editorial post. The sequin dress as a skirt was my fav ensemble. Any deets on the hats? They’re gorgeous. Overall, amazing shots and I might have to consider adding a bodysuit into my staples after reading this.

    • theglamourai

      Both of the hats are vintage: the straw one was found at Brimfield Flea Market and the other was picked up at Melet Mercantile in Montauk.


      • Darn! Figured they were vintage, but thanks for sharing where you got them!

  • Peyton Simms

    These are incredible!!


  • these photos are breathtaking

  • wow!! amazing photos!! you look stunning!

  • Madeline Veloria

    Gorgeous photos and gorgeous outfits…I can’t even choose my favorite! I love the edginess of the all black, and the effortless sexy of the white button down. And being able to utilize the sequins piece in different ways is so creative!

    Veloria in Velvet

  • grace

    I don’t totally understand the concept of a body suit. How/why do we wear this?I have friends who buy bodysuits but I woudn’t know where to begin in terms of styling!

    • theglamourai

      Hmmm, this may have to become the subject of an upcoming post… they’re crazy versatile!


  • Gabriala Brown

    Absolutely incredible photography! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! xo

  • Hanneke

    Love the evening shots!! xo Hanneke

  • StyleGodis

    Beautiful photos. Chic and elegant. Overall, this is a lovely post!


  • The lighting on those beach shots is amazing! Love love love 🙂

    xo Rachel from My Fair Vanity

  • Jenny

    One of my favorite posts in a long time. Thank you!

  • Kate Schlabaugh

    That sarong is to die! It looks beautiful on you…

  • Ines

    This shoot is beyond words – The lighting, each photo is breathtakingly more beautiful than the one before. I especially love the beaded tassel necklace – did you make it yourself?

    • theglamourai

      Thank you Ines! And I picked that necklace up on my recent trip to Bali.


  • nancy graham

    I love all the pieces, except the bodysuit. I can never seem to pull it off. Maybe because I’m too short, oh well…

  • cyndiramirez

    This images are incredible. Very Annie Leibovitz.

  • moldub

    can you please tell me where to find the hat your paired with the leather jacket???? i’m in love!

  • Anna Levina
  • These pieces and that lighting are fantastic! Great layout.

  • Jacqueline Jax

    Love your look. You have such a wonderful and playful spirit that comes across well in your modeling. I am embracing this skirt length right now. I’m curvy so the fitted skirts just above knee and longer make the most of my shape without adding weight. You gave me even more ideas. Right now I’m cleaning the closet packing up my summer and getting out fall and as I do ever season, I design a few new pieces for my own wardrobe. Will be posting those on my page . thanks for the inspiration, xoxo. JAX

  • valvacious

    DKNY makes wash-and-go clothes that travel as well as they wear… Duh everything I see says Dry Clean only

  • annebirds

    I love DK’s pieces to pieces. Esp the black knit tank dress! Your shot against the dark sky is gorgeous.

  • very nice post, the ambiance is amazing!

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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