NEW YORK, United States — Nothing cuts to the quick of a Michael Kors collection like the iconic inspirations he attaches to his looks. All he has to do is say Hepburn and Tracy, or McGraw and O’Neal, and a multiverse of cherished images spills onto his catwalk, shoring up the clothes.
Wednesday’s pairing was Peretti and O’Keeffe, as in jewellery designer Elsa and artist Georgia, and the merest whiff of them infused Kors’s Spring collection with a feeling for natural, physical women — slightly careless with their hair absent-mindedly bound up on their heads — utterly stylish in the way they threw together washed, worn items from their wardrobe. Erin O’Connor, making a stately reappearance on the catwalk, defined the mood: white poplin shirt, crinkled white cotton pants, black gab coat belted over top… and sandals.
O’Keeffe was famous for her flower paintings, juicily sensual evocations of womanhood. So Kors went wild for flowers, 3-D petals embroidered on a linen coat or a dress in pale blue faille, 2-D blooms printed on floaty georgette or silk chiffon. But it was actually Peretti’s androgynous style that underpinned the collection’s strongest looks: the white cotton pantsuit, the gauzy linen coat and pant combo, a cropped trench over drawstring pants. And, Peretti turning femme, yielded a gown in ivory Chantilly lace that was the purest expression of monochrome elegance.
Kors has been on a roll recently, but the intention of this collection felt more respite than knockout. Which is actually very smart, because it means Kors knows that if he can impress with something this laidback, the sky’s the limit when he brings out the big guns.