09/10/2012 08:17 EDT | Updated 11/10/2012 05:12 EST

Donna Karan finds inspiration outside her window at NY Fashion Week

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Donna Karan didn't look far for the inspiration of her new top-tier collection: She looked out her office window.

The way the sun dapples on the buildings near her Garment District office is something to see, she said.

The designer must keep some long hours, because she nicknamed her New York Fashion Week runway preview "Sunrise, Sunset."

It unfolded in a Chelsea studio space on Monday starting with an oyster-colored jersey daytime dress with an open back and full skirt paired with a cropped jacket, and closed with a dusty blue strapless evening gown dusted at the hemline with the print of peach-colored seashells.

She said in a backstage interview that the beach and the most urban of Manhattan settings do have some parallels: It's the light, whether it's reflecting off the water or the window glass. "It's an organic kind of feeling and very natural."

Karan hit on multiple textures but often stuck to monochromatic outfits, embracing the pinks you'll see in the dawn or dusk sky, as well as soft seaside blues and greens, but most looks were varying shades of stone. She seemed more interested in mixing multiple textures, from sheer jersey and chiffon to raffia and linen, and twisting some silhouettes on the bias, creating a more asymmetrical silhouette.

The shape was sculpted, although everything was kept loose for ease of movement. The lucky model wearing the plunging halter-neck crepe evening dress dotted with platinum sequins looked as if she could have floated down the catwalk.