Well now, there are influencers and there are influencers especially at Michael Kors, who presented a boho glam collection Wednesday morning, the final major show of New York Fashion Week.
A collection inspired by Michael’s idea of an “influencer,” meaning “forever icons,” or women of accomplishment and distinction, not Instagram stars. Just like Gloria Steinem, the noted feminist and activist, who sat front row. Many models wore Kors’ version of the low slung, multi-buckle harness belt that became Steinem’s signature – seen on ribbed knits, flared pants and racy miniskirts.
Staged in a glass-walled show space where the Meatpacking District meets the Hudson River, just north of Greenwich Village, with hundreds of fans craning in to catch sight of the VIPs and celebs inside. The collection’s key news was the elongated proportion. Ankle grazing coats, worn with miniskirts and boots or body con cocktails. Like Gloria, Michael does not do frumpy feminism.
Nor indeed do his front row fans which this season included Kate Hudson, Katie Holmes and Mindy Kaling. Close by were New York Governor Kathy Hochul, by now a regular fixture at major Manhattan shows, Lea Michele, Ellen Pompeo and Isabelle Adjani, and Beatrice Grannò; the latter wandering around in a houndstooth coat, and her face covered all the way around in ringlets.
“For this collection, I was really thinking about the things that influenced me when I was coming of age in the ‘70s, the women who influenced me, the neighborhood that influenced me, and the combination of big city glamour and bohemia that I found in Greenwich Village at that time,” explained Kors.
Haut bobo body con dresses were slashed below the waist the better to show off some leg; and necklines were low. Mono-color to an extreme, with not a print in sight, the collection’s star was the dramatic capes in creamy double-face cashmere, worn with the leggiest of dresses, skirts and shorts.
Every second outfit slashed and slit, from skirts or frocks to cool gray leopard print dresses and scarves. Mega fringed mini cocktails were anchored by lizard skin boots. Michael also cut some great mannish yet languid suits with power shoulders, and sent them out without any shirt, just the odd medallion. His palette was wide ranging from graphite, chocolate and chestnut, merlot, raspberry and forest.
For fancier soirées, the Kors gals will go out this fall in sequined gowns, though cut out to expose quite a lot of flesh. Then again, Steinem’s big break in journalism came when she took a job as a Playboy bunny and wrote about the experience and the all-around exploitation in a story in Esquire magazine entitled ‘A Bunny’s Tale’, back in 1963.
At a pre-show press conference his mood board featured 1960s- and 70s-stars Jane Fonda, Aretha Franklin, Yoko Ono and Cicely Tyson, alongside Steinem.
Adding grandeur to the fast-paced show, a live orchestra accompanied recorded tracks like Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane, a great anthem of sixties counterculture revolt. Along with Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way giving the right sense of optimism to the top-notch cast. With Italian super Vittoria Ceretti opening, ably supported by Irina Shayk, Amber Valletta, Liya Kebede and Adut Akech.
Last week, shares in Capri Holdings – the owner of the Kors brand – tumbled 24%, as the company cut its annual profit forecast and provided a dour outlook for 2024, blaming a slowdown in demand from department stores for its luxury handbags and apparel.
Today, however, Kors was an ebullient mood. Post-show, he feted the day with a lunch for editors and ladies who lunched in the Waverly restaurant, while his “influencers” dined in the garden outside.
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