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Conversations: Michael Kors Is In The Mood For A “Powerful Romance”

We flew to New York City to witness the all-American designer's colour-filled 35th anniversary collection – and even managed to squeeze in a quick pre-show tête-à-tête.
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It is 8 a.m. at TriBeCa’s Spring Studios. As we try to make sense of the world through our still-weary eyes – we are going on five hours of sleep for the second day in a row – the Michael Kors army is already out in force. Staff members are darting from room to room. Instruments are being shifted into the main stage to set the scene for the designer’s special surprise. Models from Kendall Jenner to Caroline Murphy look almost ready to get changed.

Then there’s the captain of the fleet, bursting with considerable energy despite the early start to the day. He may not even have slept at all. Even if that were so, Kors didn’t show it. As we wait for our turn to talk to him, we can hear the all-American designer laughing and talking animatedly, even agreeing to appear in the Snapchat of the press before us. And yet there we are, trying our hardest to stifle a yawn. Tsk, tsk.

The mood of the day is one filled with love, or as Kors puts it, a powerful romance. “She just wants to fall in love,” he says. “She has no label about what season [a piece] is for. If you fall in love, you love the piece and you’re ready to go.”

As a designer, Kors seeks to be a problem solver. “How do you get dressed in the morning and feel feminine? How do you express something romantic and at the same time feel like you’re in charge and empowered, and sexy without being naked? We really wanted to express that,” explains Kors. “This show is really about mixing beautiful tailoring with feminine, soft pieces. So, it’s really kind of two sides to a woman’s personality.”

The message is crystal clear in his 56-strong line-up. Flirty, floaty floral dresses that hark back to the flower power era walk alongside hippie dippie knits. Borrowed-from-the-boys silhouettes – we are dying for the six-button long exaggerated sleeves – that also pay homage to power women of the ‘40s and ‘80s find their counterparts in intricately embroidered little black dresses. Itsy bitsy bikinis in vintage-inspired cuts added that touch of youth, and the finale pieces – cutout dresses with fluted sleeves – would make any girl happy. As far as range goes, Kors has plenty of his women covered – young and younger, daytime and nighttime, feminine and masculine.

There’s also an awareness of the rise of streetwear. Looks are very much for the girl-on-the-go. Bags are worn cross-body over blazers and belts, for example, and many of the looks can easily be deconstructed. One look is basically five looks. “I think it’s a bit overwhelming to buy the whole wardrobe off of Instagram,” Kors says, in reference to the show’s “see-now-buy-now” concept. “But I think being able to pick-up some great items, I think that is fantastic.”

The biggest change from seasons past is undoubtedly the colour palette. Orange, hot pink, yellow with a side of green and blue. That, and Kors’ rare venture into logo mania with a sweater splattered with “LOVE”, already on the wish lists of many, we’re sure. It just goes to show that after 35 years in the business, change is still not out of the picture. Here’s to 35 years and many more, Mr. Kors.

 

Don’t forget to check out our behind-the-scenes snaps moments before the show here. (Also, we finally got Facebook. Like us over here, maybe?)

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