The Happiest Fashion Designer in the World Keeps It Upbeat in New York: Michael Kors Unveils a Staggering Number of New LooksBY Clifford Pugh // 03.16.18
Michael Kors tartan cape and scarf, floral dress, leopard pattern boots. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
Michael Kors dress with portraits by David Downton. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
Michael Kors floral skirt, leopard print belt, green top, and neon-colored faux fur jacket. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
Michael Kors varsity T-shirt, black trousers, and black sequined coat. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
Michael Kors tartan blazer and contrasting tartan slacks. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
Michael Kors chunky knit sweater, floral skirt, and leopard print belt. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
Michael Kors KO varsity sweatshirt, floral skirt, green faux fur coat, zebra and check print fedora. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
Michael Kors leopard leopard print coat, floral skirt, striped blouse. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
Michael Kors leopard print trench coat and matching shoes. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
Michael Kors faux fur coat in bold yellow/gold shade, striped sweater, jeans, and tartan pumps. Photo courtesy of Michael Kors.
NEW YORK — Even in these unsettled times, Michael Kors remains one happy guy.
An avid musical theater buff, Kors moved his runway show to the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center and commissioned invitations by legendary theater poster artist James McMullen. The drawing depicts Kors in sunglasses and all-black attire — his trademark — with a sunny grin and outstretched arms.
When the extensive fall collection was unveiled, the soundtrack included upbeat highlights from “The Sound of Music” and “My Fair Lady,” as well as a smattering of Top 40 songs and hip-hop tunes, like Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” In program notes, Kors asserted that the collection was “a Valentine to personal style.”
Indeed, with a whopping 74 looks on display, there is something for just about everyone in Kors’ newest collection — no matter how they define their personal style. It leads off with a clash of patterns — a red-and-black plaid tartan cape and muffler over a floral dress and leopard patterned boots — and ends with understatement — model Joan Smalls in a simple varsity T-shirt and black trousers, carrying a black sequined trench coat.
In between is a mishmash of tartan, argyle, camouflage, floral and leopard — sometimes all in one ensemble. Chunky Fair Isle sweaters are paired with silk pajama pants, a camel cape covers a red track suit, a two-tone varsity sweatshirt emblazoned with the letters “KO” contrasts with tartan slacks and flip flops.
Amid the varied looks, a strapless hourglass dress painted with women’s portraits by fashion illustrator David Downton steals the show. The Downton design also appears on handbags in a capsule collection that will be available at Kors stores and online in the fall.
Kors’ uptown clientele might be a little overwhelmed by the array of eclectic styles, but younger shoppers are likely to be impressed. The storied designer seems to have adopted the Instagram maxim: If you don’t like one look, just swipe to the next one until you find something that you can’t live without.
In keeping with the casual vibe, Michael Kors’ models appeared with little makeup and natural-looking hairstyles that were not fussy or overdone. With all the craziness around, it seems right at this point in time just to be yourself.