Just days after Balenciaga’s future travel-inspired Pre-Fall show, American designer Michael Kors celebrated 40 years of his eponymous label with a collection that was as much celebratory of New York itself as it was elegant post-pandemic dressing. Long synonymous with effortlessly effortful garments that are both comfortable and injected with a dose of octane glamour and optimism (more please!), the anniversary show was filmed on location, in the heart of New York’s busy theatre district: at Sardi’s Restaurant, the Shubert Theatre, the Booth Theatre and along 45th Street, set to a live performance by singer-songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright (including classic ballads such as “City Lights,” “New York State of Mind,” and “There’s No Business like Show Business”).
“The theater is the heartbeat and the pulse of New York City and an endless source of inspiration for me, so to see Broadway shut down has been really heartbreaking”, explained Michael Kors in his press notes. A theater aficionado, the designer called his show his “fantasy night out” and made both a personal and company donation to the Actors Fund, an American national organization that provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals and that played a crucial role during the pandemic (“I was really thinking about the joy in getting dressed up and stepping out for a night on the town,” he added.)
“Whether you’re going to the office, having a casual dinner in the neighborhood or are in fact ready to go to a party again, this collection is all about making every moment a special occasion and feeling confident, glamorous and upbeat”. True to MK form, there was no shortage of supermodel-dom, featuring runway icons from Naomi Campbell and Helena Christensen to Carolyn Murphy and Bella Hadid. Key pieces from the collection included crystal-embellished dresses styled with dramatic evening coats, knitted cashmere turtlenecks styled with leather trousers or mini-skirts, and signature razor-sharp tailoring. Elsewhere, there was a beige knit with a single-cut shoulder, that Kors jokingly called “the vaccination pullover”.
“There’s a sense of timelessness and big-city optimism that has been a linchpin of Michael Kors since the very beginning—a yin-and-yang balance between opulence and simplicity, something that’s laid-back and at the same time luxurious.”