Designer Michael Kors on rewriting wardrobe classics and why we need to find the fun in fashion again.
Michael Kors on rewriting wardrobe classics and why we need to find the fun in fashion again.
“I FEEL LIKE WE’VE FORGOTTEN THE WORD CHARMING. AND FLIRTY … WHY NOT HAVE A LITTLE FUN?”
Blake Lively is on the front row of Michael Kors, looking how you would expect Blake Lively to look at New York fashion week, pushing through the morning winter blizzard in a sequined sheath gown and a coat. Sequins for daytime? Sure, why not? In Kors’s world, it’s cropped denim strewn with crystal and feather frippery, or as seen here in the pages of Vogue, the street-sport shape of a zip-up hoodie made in luxurious tweed – with a matching skirt to finish. “Brocade to the office, sweatshirts at night – I don’t think my customers pay attention to time of day either,” says Michael Kors in his midtown New York office. It’s a comment on how women are dressing today, and the ethos of his show – wardrobe classics elevated. That elevation is achieved by way of textures and fabrics that epitomise the fun and frivolity of fashion, such as ostrich feathers, furs and sequins.
Within his witticisms and quick quips lies a designer who explores season after season how women want to dress – it’s themselves, but better.
“Look at Jackie Kennedy – everyone says she was so consistent, but she actually went through lots of changes in how she dressed, changing proportions and lengths, always clean lines and never a lot of print or pattern.” He’s cracked the code of how to identify a sense of style. “And the reality is in today’s world everyone’s a movie star, because everyone has too
many pictures of themselves … so you just have to look at your phone,” he says with a laugh. There’s the functional element, too. “When I’m in the airport and I see so many women making the decision to carry a Michael Kors handbag on the plane, that meant the bag made her outfit look great, but was also the practical one.” I ask if he approaches them. “Yeah, I’m a New Yorker! New York women – are you kidding? I’ve had women lift their jackets, show me their jeans and they say: ‘Sign my ass!’”
But what he’d like to remind us is how to have some fun with fashion. “I kind of feel like we’ve forgotten the word charming,” he says. “And flirty,” he adds, which sounds even more cheeky in his distinctive Long Island accent. “You put something on and the right thing can make you feel like you’re winking at people, but at the same time it’s a mainstay of your closet that puts a smile on your face. Fashion has gotten a bit serious. The world’s a complicated place right now, and if anything maybe I sound too much like a cockeyed optimist, but I think we can bring a little joy to people getting dressed. Why not have a little fun?”
Looks from the Michael Kors autumn/winter ’16/’17 collection.
Michael Kors at the end of the runway show.
From the Michael Kors autumn/winter ’16/’17 collection.