Michael Kors staged a great escape Monday morning at the waterfront Domino Park in Brooklyn.
To a Burt Bacharach soundtrack, as jet-skiers and ferry riders coasted by, models worked resort-ready looks that were a throwback to the ’60s and ’70s heyday of Jackie O, Jane Birkin and the designer’s mama and eternal fashion inspiration, Joan Kors, who died last month.
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“We were scheduled to fly to L.A. the next day to see her and go straight to the Polo Lounge,” Kors recounted during a preview, thankful at least that he got to speak with her before she passed, and that it was peaceful.
“All the cliches, quotes and phrases are true — you’re not promised tomorrow,” he said, referencing his inspiration board, which included an adorable photo of the designer as a towheaded toddler sitting on a pool lounger with his mom on vacation.
So you should live it up and take a holiday, even if it’s just in your mind — or at a park on the Brooklyn waterfront.
Kors already had Birkin on the mind before she died, including the idea to design a leather basket bag after her trademark tote.
“Here was a British woman living in France who ultimately is so laid-back that I thought she was always very American,” he said.
Indeed, there was a lot of Birkin in the collection’s Chantilly lace and hand-crochet cotton cashmere caftans and minidresses, low-slung pants and crop tops, some worn with boyfriend jackets, and almost all paired with flat sandals.
Kors has always had a knack for neutrals, and this season focused on matching them to all skin tones on cashmere, breezy silk chiffon sundresses and easy suiting, although some of the fabrics could have looked a little more rich.
“And the reality is, today, when you are on vacation, the bathing suit is the bodysuit,” he said of adding swim to the mix, including a striking white one-piece with gold o-ring details at the cutout waistband.
Like many designers this week, he played with transparency but put some thought into selling it.
“I’ve never been in the lingerie business but this season we’ll be shipping bras and panties with many of these looks,” Kors said. “Because of course you can get anything online, but do you really want to spend all day sitting on the phone looking for which bra or which panty works? So we’re just shipping it.”
Back to Joan: she had many chapters to her life’s wardrobe, Kors said. “She loved HotPants and really short dresses,” but by the 1980s had transitioned to wearing chic pants every day.
“One time, we had a show that was full of very short clothes, and I said, ‘What do you think?'” the designer remembered. “‘God, it was spectacular. I loved it,'” he recalled his mom saying.
“But you wouldn’t wear most of it,” I said. “That’s not the point,” she said. “I sat there and thought, ‘Boy, I wish I could.'”
Launch Gallery: Michael Kors RTW Spring 2024
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