Michael Kors is fashion’s perennial optimist and he feels that now’s the time to fly that flag even higher. Opening the show notes for his pre-fall (or transseason, in the company’s parlance) were the words “Village People.” No, he did not send out a cowboy, a construction worker and a leatherman. It was a reference to Kors’ Seventies experience in New York’s West Village, when he was a teenager going to acting school on Bank Street. “Here we are many years later, and I think back and that time to me is romance and charm and all the things I think are disappearing now,” said Kors during a presentation of the collection. “As an adult, I realize the Seventies in New York were pretty gruesome, but I didn’t think that way then. I thought anything was possible and we have got to get back to that.”
The whole collection viewed the Seventies through Kors’ rose-colored glasses — oversize aviators, of course — that matched the glitter on the pink disco dancing shoes. There were crushed silk dresses in delicate, naïve florals worn under tailored plaid vests, jackets and trenches that were romanced with volume at the shoulder. There was military denim, printed silk pajama pants and men’s plaid gauchos cut at the perfect length to show off a killer pair of snakeskin platform boots.
Kors is newly fur-free and having plenty of fun with it. The faux Mongolians and shearlings done in pink, silver and copper were so fabulous, who could miss the real thing? Bags big and small had convertible straps offering multiple ways of carrying them. Slide sandals were stamped with hardware bearing the initials MKC. Logos are essential to any big brand at the moment, yet Kors managed to spin them as rosy nostalgia, too. “At 14 and 15 years old, I sat starting to draw my logos for the future. Demented, I know,” said Kors. “No, my middle name is not Charles. It’s MKC for Michael Kors Collection.”