We live in a casual world and luxury must adjust. Advantage: Michael Kors. While many brands with more ladified roots must adapt dramatically for women who view yoga pants and sneakers as everyday wardrobe staples, tony sportif has been core to Kors’ deign ethos from Day One. That doesn’t mean he’s built a career on surf shorts and tanks — only that he has a natural affinity for dressed-up dressing down. From Kors, the integration of overt athletic themes into his sporty aesthetic feels natural, seamless and, for resort, very chic.
“Walk around the Upper East Side. You’re like, wait a minute, is she perpetually exercising? That’s all she does? She only exercises?” Kors mused during an appointment at Industria Studios. Overstatement, perhaps, but the reality of casualization has made him focus on multipurpose clothes, particularly for this season, in store in time for holiday fetes and vacations, but also the doldrums of winter. “The clothes have to go to a party, go on vacation, go to work,” he said, while noting that in his case, they must serve many mistresses: “We have three generations of clients.”
Kors’ resort collection had inviting options for all of the above. He emphasized coordinated looks — often including matching-print bags and shoes — which can be easily broken down into items, an approach he finds essential today. His woman still likes fancy, but approaches it with a total lack of reverence and a “brocade with flip-flops” mentality. That meant mix-and-match dressing such as a precision-cut jacket in exquisite silver/aqua brocade worn over a lace babydoll and bejeweled sports sandals, or a seafaring take on a suit — buckle-front scuba vest and skirt in stretch bonded jersey. Some looks had what the designer called a “mess with your friends” vibe, as in, “I’m wearing a shift and a hoodie,” only the shift was in rich, embroidered brocade and the hoodie, in cashmere with diamante cords.
Throughout, Kors worked with sharp graphics, whether colorblocks or prints, as well as painterly motifs, sometimes combining the two. While he kept most cuts linear and precise, airy dresses made for touches of boho romance. Yet he kept returning to the sporty side. Case in point: a flamboyant tracksuit in perforated plonge leather. “If I can’t get them out of exercise clothes,” Kors quipped, “I’m going to get them into the most opulent exercise clothes.”