Michele Oka Doner, artist, and that dress!

The American artist Michele Oka Doner has made just one dress her signature look, her uniform.

The American artist Michele Oka Doner is very well know for her art however just one dress, her signature, her uniform is nearly as well known. She has this one dress in various colours and fabrics. Accessories are limited to pearls, kitten heal mules or slides.

I love the dress and I love this woman here is a link to a lovely interview with her…


This exert adds a bit more detail.

“As poetic as Oka Doner can get, she’s also a serious fashion hound. Her closet is a vintage troller’s dream, full of early Oscar de la Renta, Jean Paul Gaultier and Yohji Yamamoto pieces. “If you buy something special every year and you’ve had about 45 adult years like me, you have a lot of very good dresses,” she says.

Yet Oka Doner prefers to wear a single style dress: a roomy long-sleeve number with a draped neckline that falls over the shoulders (she’s wearing just that today). She owns about three dozen — mostly in black and white, cut from cashmeres, silks and velvets. They’re all custom-made, save for the original which she bought in a store in Chelsea in 1987. “I recycle them,” she adds. “The white ones start looking not so white so I wear them to walk on the beach. And then in the end, I use them in the studio. I wrap my bronzes in them.”

Oka Doner says her style savvy — and the confidence that goes with it — owes much to her roots, especially her mother, Gertrude. As evidence, the artist pulls out the book “Miami Beach: Blueprint of an Eden” — a wonderful tome on the city which she co-wrote with Mitchell Wolfson Jr. in 2005. Her chic mom is on the cover (dressed in a palm-printed two-piece) and also in endless photos inside, from hosting local fashion shows to posing with Madame Chiang Kai-shek. As Oka Doner flips through the pages, a bronze and diamond cuff in the shape of a branch shines on her right hand — it’s her own design, of course. “Art and beauty should be everywhere,” she remarks. “Every surface should be thought about and curated.”

Share this Post

Comments 6

    1. Post
      1. Tina Givens has a website and you can download her patterns as pdfs. I have since found a pattern at Mc2patterns actually called “The Michelle Oka Doner Style Dress”. Still sleuthing around trying to find a good match

  1. Is there a pattern available for this? I would love to wear this dress every day, too. I am pretty good with the sewing machine and can imagine making this out of many fabrics. What fun it would be and might be something to boost my own aging confidence.

  2. Not that I am qualified to really make statements about fashion, but I think she looks absolutely fabulous and totally comfortable in her skin, and her sense of style, and her multiple single dress in different fabrics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.