Michael Kors Spring-Summer 2013 RTW

Or, in this case, the there and then. At his Forty-second Street studio on Sunday, Kors gave a preview of what he was going to show a few days later, an exuberantly graphic collection, heavy on stripes, Op-art flourishes, and primary colors. It was inflected with both the space-age sixties and the urban-minimal nineties, but filtered through the eternal sunshine and wide-open attitude of California. (That explains, then, those groovy metal belt-buckles that looked like they’d been designed by architect John Lautner.) Kors produced one cleanly elegant double-breasted coat, colored a fabulous red, replete with a half-belt and a rounded collar. “The reality is that when spring hits the stores, it’s still cold,” Kors said. “And you don’t want to wait months to wear everything you have new. You want to put some of it on now.” He paused. “I call it front-row fashion, because it’s going to give people something to put on during the New York shows in February.”

Suffice to say, interest in wearing this collection is going to go far beyond the good ladies of the fourth estate, or anyone else with a seating assignment for a show, when it’s delivered. These were feel-good, look-good clothes, loaded with an appealing sense of optimistic joie de vivre that positively bounced off the walls of Lincoln Center. The equation of the two—the style and the spirit—is important to him; who, his reasoning goes, wants to look and feel downbeat and gloomy now, of all times?

He captured the geometric Gernreich-esque mood that has emerged here and at Marc Jacobs as a viable alternative to the layered wispy waftery seen elsewhere, with Kors giving it his distinctly Americana spin. The standouts: a navy–and–palm green cashmere sweater with a navy skirt whose pleats exposed a flash of green sequins; band-striped tops worn with either his update on khakis (color-blocked at the back in red and blue) or with matching full skirts; and, nodding to the current predilection for glamorizing shorts for evening, a white pair worn with a matching top encrusted with 3-D gold sequins. All of this was worn with small, stately handheld purses in sporty colors and, what has surely become as traditional as Thanksgiving for the Kors label, the very best flat of the season—in this case, an ankle-strapped number resting on a low Lucite block heel.
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