Donna Karan Honored at Parsons, January Jones and Emma Roberts Shop Target

By Lisa Marsh on May 2, 2012 1:32pm 

CHELSEA — Donna Karan, who makes some of the most well-draped clothing around, actually failed the class on draping she took at Parsons The New School for Design, it was revealed Tuesday evening at the Parsons Fashion Benefit, part of the Parsons Festival 2012.

"Donna Karan failed draping is my metaphor," the designer admitted to DNAinfo at Pier 60. She was honored at the gala that also featured a fashion show from the school’s graduating seniors. However, she added, “I loved illustration and wanted to be an illustrator, actually.”

Coach’s Reed Krakoff agreed with Karan. “Draping was my least favorite thing. I was terrible at it, because I’m totally impatient. It’s very linear — you do this and then you do this. I just was terrible at it and barely passed," he admitted.

Conversely, Bibhu Mohapatra loved his draping classes. “I was a very good student. I was a very hardworking student. I was kind of anal and worked a lot."

Fashion illustration was a big favorite among the designers in attendance on Tuesday.

It was Krakoff’s favorite subject and Narciso Rodriguez, who went on to work with Karan at Anne Klein after his graduation from Parsons loved it. “I loved the illustration program so much. I had a great teacher. It’s one of the reasons I went into fashion."

Designer Peter Som was also devoted to illustration. “I was a big old nerd,” he admitted. “I couldn’t help it.” Pattern making was where he got into trouble. “I went to class but it was rough going,” he said. “Some of those teachers back in the day were hardcore. I did OK, but now I have pattern makers. In theory, I could do it myself and I know vaguely what I’m talking about, but why? I like to draw things."

Hardcore pattern making appealed to Carlie Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. “It was a chance to get down to the nitty gritty of making clothes,” Cushnie explained.

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Across the West Side Highway at the IAC Building, fans of fashion and more gathered to celebrate The Shops at Target, a new concept that will bring the best of a bunch of brands — The Webster, Privet House, Cos Bar, Polka Dog Bakery and The Candy Store — to Target stores across the country starting May 6.

Donna Karan at the Parsons 2012 Fashion Benefit, at Pier 60, Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
Donna Karan at the Parsons 2012 Fashion Benefit, at Pier 60, Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Lisa Marsh

As it often does when Target is concerned, talk turned to shopping and recent purchases.

Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network admitted she bought her own tomato sauce. “People think I get that stuff for free, but I have to shop like everyone else,” she admitted. “I don’t get anything for free. People think that all the time, but I pay. There’s no discount cards."

Actress Emma Roberts falls into the trap most of us do at Target — spending more than $100 even if she's just looking for one or two things. "I could leave the store without spending $100 if it was a challenge, but I rarely ever do," she said, admitting that her last trip was for home supplies — "Paper towels, laundry detergent, really exciting stuff."

Leelee Sobieski admitted she got to preview and shop the collection from The Webster. “I got her espadrilles,” she said gesturing to The Webster’s designer Laure Heriard Dubreuil. “They’re not out yet."

Target fuels Sabrina Soto’s beauty addiction. “I’m seriously obsessed with everything make-up, so I buy mascara, lotion, nail polish ... everything,” she said.

Lauren Bush-Lauren, however, was hard pressed to remember buying anything at Target. “I haven’t been to a Target for a long time. And when I go back to Texas, I don’t have the time to go,” she admitted. “I’m not much of a shopper.”

And with Ralph Lauren as a father-in-law, she probably doesn’t have to be.

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