Michael Kors: A sporty take on romanticism
“Be my, be my baby,” crooned the Ronettes, adding yet another layer of upbeat energy to the famously happy shows of Michael Kors.
That song, linking the prim Fifties to the Swinging Sixties, expressed the spirit of the show, where the designer of upbeat sportswear mixed streamlined pieces with high romanticism.
The crisp white shirt worn with a flowered skirt, airy in texture but dense with decoration, was the key piece. And throughout, the counterculture to dynamic sportswear was a soft prettiness, focusing on flowers, from the daffodils and dahlias embroidered on a skirt to a leather sash with a flower tie.
“Think about the uptight Paris of the Fifties, and then sportswear, when you jammed your hands in your pockets,” said the designer backstage, where front-row guests from Mary J. Blige to Jessica Chastain gave the show a big thumbs-up.
The way that Michael Kors stitched romance into his more familiar blazers, tailored jackets and Bermuda shorts was well done. The bouncy circle skirts never turned the show into a parody or a costume party.
Eagle-eyed buyers must have divided the collection between customer staples and one-off must-haves. The crossover was colour, so that the same buttercup yellow on a floral skirt appeared on a streamlined duffle coat, while blue suede that looked like denim was worked into a tailored navy jacked with lacy floral skirt.
Descriptions of the clothes make the Michael Kors approach seem simplistic, which in a way it is. Some of the blazer/soft-skirt looks even had a shadow of Ralph Lauren.
But if it were so easy to take the Kors route, other designers would do the same – and have the same astonishing commercial success. Instead, Michael Kors seems like the leader of a look that follows a long tradition of feminised American sportswear.