Much of the blondest hair in New York can be found in the front row at a Michael Kors fashion show. Kors, who is a master of the campy one-liner, is something of a court designer to those women who are so fortunate as to maintain a nutty brown complexion twelve months a year without ever visiting a tanning salon. He knows exactly how to show off those Palm Beach tans and blonde, blonde hair, making them shine and making them look their best. And he also knows how to market this typical, uptown, Board–of–Sloan Kettering look to the rest of the country. All of which is to say: Kors’s design vocabulary relies heavily on an existing glossary of chic. It is always, though today especially, rather a retro affair.
In the end, the Kors’s philosophy is that of a safe bet. His latest collection mines the perennially sexy land of Girls Friday (tight pencil skirts, fur-trimmed cardigans, chunky librarian glasses) and Italy-via-Hollywood bombshells (stretchy leopard Capri pants and bias cuts). There were solid camel-hair coats and a healthy pile of benefit-ready, sequined evening gowns; in short, all a girl needs to live, or pretend to live, the life of a Gossip Girl all grown up.
It would be nice to see Kors experiment a bit more, to push forward rather than endlessly reach back. There is, after all, great allure in such familiar fashion totems as a trim leopard suit. —Amy Larocca