Thanksgiving 2019 In A Donna Karan Cold Shoulder Top

Barbra Streisand opted for a simple, elegant, comfortable and classic look on Thanksgiving. In a post to her instagram page on Nov 30, 2019 captioned “Nothing lovelier than giving thanks on Thanksgiving for family and friends, and flowers”, Barbra is seen with her granddaughter Westlyn Reign and dog Ms. Violet. Here she is wearing a 3/4th sleeve, black, Donna Karan cold shoulder top with a jewel neckline. 

A similar top by Donna Karan

This style of top is a favorite of Barbra’s and has been a staple her wardrobe for many years. Since she is close friends with Karan, Barbra is often given samples and pieces from her collections and the two have collaborated on many original designs

Top image by Robert Hanashiro. Bottom via @Barbrastreisand Instagram

The cold shoulder has always been a universally flattering look for women and looks especially amazing on Barbra. It has become as synonymous with her fashion aesthetic as chokers and long dramatic nails. Karan’s version of a cold shoulder dress hit the spotlight when Liza Minelli wore it to The Academy Awards in 1992. What caught Minnelli’s eye about the piece was “how good the dress looks if you have broad shoulders, and how it gives you them if you don’t have them. When she (Donna) added the long skirt, it made me feel like Martha Graham.” The dress became an even bigger trend after Hillary Rodham Clinton wore it to the Governors Dinner on Jan 31, 1993 in one of her first official appearances at First Lady. The cold shoulder craze in America was so massive that nearly all fashion retailers began to knock off the look from Karan’s design. These cheaper low-quality versions sold hundreds of thousands.

Photos by Ron Galella and Suzanne DeChillo 

Regarding this iconic cut, Karan told The New York Times in 1993 that “ It’s the one place that is perfect on every women’s body. No one every says, “I have fat shoulders. What I love about it goes back to my original concept. Wear it under a suit and it looks like a turtleneck. Wear it at night without the suit and it’s totally different.” Karan went on to adapt this design into many blouse styles, some retaining the turtleneck and other with scooped, draped, V, square and jewel necks. This is a timeless look which still sells very well today. 

Cold shoulder tops by Donna Karan
Check out some cold shoulder looks as part of Karan’s A/W92 show starting at 2:40.

In 2016 Karan spoke to Vogue magazine’s Staff Yotka about her favorite seven pieces of her career and the cold shoulder look was unsurprisingly one of them. The piece states “Karan’s 1992 cutout shoulder dress—nicknamed the Cold Shoulder Dress in the press—might be the only thing Liza Minnelli and Hillary Clinton have in common. The former wore it first, to the Academy Awards in 1992. “Liza was the one who found it in my closet—it was a discard,” says Karan, noting that on the runway it was shown under a jacket on Linda Evangelista and then summarily panned by Women’s Wear Daily. Nearly a year later, in 1993, Clinton bought the dress to wear to her first state dinner as First Lady. “When Hillary Clinton wore it to the first White House state dinner, I didn’t know that she had it,” remembers Karan. “That was pretty amazing.” Clinton seemed to agree, with her press secretary at the time, Lisa Caputo, issuing this quote from the First Lady: “I love the way it feels. And when you feel good, you look good.”

AP Photo | John Salangsang