Fashion, like life in general, abounds with half-truths. A perfect example occurred at the Michael Kors Collection show Wednesday morning, right there in the front row. Blake Lively wore a camel coat and dress. Classic camel, overcast morning, 10 a.m. — OK. But only half the story, at most, Blake glowed, a glorious vision in monochrome, from her modified Bardot bouffant right down to her ladified stilettoes. In between, her slipdress was aglow in Swarovski crystals, uplighting her movie-star face and ample décolletage.
Such is the way of Michael Kors (with clothes; he can claim no credit for Blake’s other assets). He elevates the real, the wearable, in some cases, the mundane, to a place so alluring, what fashion-aware woman wouldn’t want in? But then, Kors’ seasonal starting point is always “the women.”
“It’s always been about the muses,” he said during a preview. “In a strange way, they all kind of float through my head, they all kind of mash up together.” He ran off a litany of “theys”: Lee Radziwill, Penelope Tree, Diana Ross, Nan Kempner, Alexa Chung, Zendaya, Blake, women “unabashedly in love with looking fabulous.”
And doing so in a real-world context, albeit a tony one. This show was all about function made special and chic — coats (and more coats), sweaters, pants and skirts, the regular trappings of getting dressed, only delightfully zhooshed up. How everyday? Kors opened with the core basics — peacoat, white blouse, pullover and jeans, but the jeans happened to be feathered from the knees down. Camel made it onto the runway in a shawl-collared coat — a floral intarsia mink, worn over a sweater and tattersall cropped pant. Other coats got abundant fur collars or were cut in glistening floral brocades. An otherwise austere officer’s coat was sashed in mink. Another simple pleasure, knitted cashmere, came in a charcoal sweater-and-skirt duet that got the reality diva treatment with feathers — including matching feathered opera gloves.
The appeal of this collection was in its relatable glamour. As for Kors’ Ready-to-Wear, Ready-to-Go pieces, available immediately at the Madison Avenue store and online: Look 52, featuring a lot of snappy studs.
Not everything was gussied up; sometimes, a herringbone tweed suit and silk leopard-print shirtdress were just that, as Kors kept his shapes from classic to retro. If he erred with some dresses that rang a little too literally Sixties, they were few and far between.
A Sixties note that worked: versions of the song “Windy” on the soundtrack, including, for the finale, The Association’s 1967 original. The ditty finds Windy “tripping down the streets of the city…smiling at everybody she sees.” Of course she is. She’s a great-looking young woman dressed to the nines and loving it. So why not smile?