“Sittin’ on the dock of the bay…wastin’ time.”
When the amazing Sara Bareilles opened the Michael Kors Collection show with Otis Redding’s soulful anthem about not having much to do, point taken: no stuffy-chic fare here. Kors’ approach to spring was all about making casual work for city life.
“Remember when you would never have seen a girl wearing flip-flops or cutoffs in New York or London or any major city in the world?” Kors said during a preview. “The reality is that that is not reality anymore. So how do you heighten that attitude of easiness to a way that works in a city?”
Kors addressed another pressing reality, as well — the long-standing issue of diversity (or lack thereof) on the runway. He reenlisted Ashley Graham, as well as, from the 35-plus set; Maggie Rizer; Kirsty Hume, and Carolyn Murphy. They looked fabulous — and right at home rather than like a novelty act.
First out, Murphy appeared sun-kissed and at ease in a pink and white sweatshirt passing for a dress. This set the tone for a collection packed with covetable clothes and lovely to boot, even if it felt a tad safe, It also introduced several key motifs: big prints, pastels and the aforementioned flip-flops. Kors’ favorites offered a significant upgrade on drugstore-variety rubber; they were croc. The color story played out in breezy layers — trenchcoats, dresses, Bermudas, indulgent cozy cashmeres and big shirts worn in various combinations, all of the elements crossing easily from day into evening. Case in point: a long blue shirt, front-knotted and shirttails out in back, over ombré-sequined pajama pants.
Still, Kors and his customers will always love a good neutral. He limited his men’s wear to that range, the urban-beachy attitude translated into flowy trenchcoats, roomy shorts, boxy blazers and a head-turning double-breasted white tonal suit. For women, the fluid layering, he said, “took the gray of Wall Street” and softened black and white with a big, leafy print.
Speaking of big, Kors is over the mini bag, at least now. He preferred the supersize-me variety — woven leather tote, tie-dyed messenger, raffia shoulder sack. Because there’s nothing relaxed about having to cram.