Michael Kors brought resort to the city for his solid spring collection. Like many designers this season, he’s been reminiscing about simpler times, in Kors’ case it was not the ’90s but the late ’70s, when Rudi Gernreich, Halston and Stephen Burrows were ruling the fashion scene by celebrating and freeing the body.
He was even reminiscing about pre-9/11. Twenty-one years ago, for his spring 2002 collection show that got canceled, Kors made a gold oval belt in the spirit of Elsa Peretti’s horseshoe for Halston.
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Kors brought back the belt, and made the low-slung modern accessory the cornerstone of his collection, which was shown in a leafy urban oasis on 14th Street, with Serena Williams, Anne Hathaway, New York Mayor Eric Adams and a slew of starlets in the seats.
“What first turned me on about fashion was simplicity, sensuality and movement,” Kors said during a preview. “Europe didn’t celebrate the body, America celebrated the body.”
Fast-forward to today, when climate change is a grim reality, and the idea of celebrating the body is tied not only to liberation, but being comfortable in increasingly sweltering temperatures. There are more days than one would fear that wearing a swimsuit under Kors’ black-and-white floral caftan, or a racer-back bodysuit with a shimmering sequined sarong skirt, would be the chicest, coolest option, not just in luxury resorts, but in the city streets.
“The weather’s nuts, climate change has changed everything. So people in cities are comfortable wearing things that they normally would not wear in an urban situation, whether it’s a caftan, a pareo, or the barest sandals. And then when you go to the resorts, everyone’s dressed to the teeth,” said Kors, who does a fair amount of resort-going himself, most recently to Bora Bora.
With an eye toward the melding of beach and street, sarongs, pareos, bodysuits and bikini tops were paired with sharp tailoring in tropical hues of citrine, green, blue and red, along with tried-and-true neutrals. Modern silk jersey gowns were anchored by chunky jeweled necklines. And because the weather can turn in a minute from moderate to monsoon, Kors showed his precision-cut blazers and coats draped over shoulders, and his signature cashmere gowns, slashed bodysuits and cardigans for when there’s a chill in the air.
There was lots of party-ready fringe, as there has been everywhere this week, including a flirty metallic gold-fringed skirt worn with a featherweight gold knit turtleneck, a black racer-back tank dress with a swishy hem, and a black sleeveless blazer with fringe arms-length swaying from the shoulders.
For those going to an office (or just a nice dinner) a monochromatic poppy red, low-slung, belted sarong skirt, bodysuit and blazer with lace-up-the-leg sandals was a standout, while a black sleeveless twist-front blazer and pants was a great new summer suit. Or, in South Beach perhaps, Kors’ body-con top and semi-sheer high-waisted trousers could be that.
The men’s looks also focused on relaxed tailoring, with slouchy blazers, both sleeveless and not, and overcoats in neutrals and pop colors. There was a sheer tunic and pants set for summer Fridays, and for when the occasion requires something spiffier, an “American Gigolo” style white suit that was already a trend at Sunday’s Emmy awards. If Mayor Adams doesn’t have one in his expansive closet yet, he should.
Launch Gallery: Michael Kors RTW Spring 2023