smile therapy, starring kors and boss
As the New York shows draw to an end, Michael Kors and Boss’ Jason Wu put a smile on the face of fashion.
Michael Kors spring/summer 17
"Forget your troubles, come on, get happy," Rufus Wainwright appealed to guests in his upbeat morning performance at the Michael Kors show on Wednesday morning. It certainly did the job for New York's show-goers, now a week into the gruelling month of women's shows. Fashion is, like, so hard. In New York it's been easy to fall into a CNN trance, gaping at the American election circus unfolding before our eyes. This week alone, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump's voters "deplorable", fainted following a fifteenth anniversary memorial for 9/11 - an event that cast its own shadow over these United States - and took to bed with pneumonia. In a move you couldn't make up, her opponent went on The Dr. Oz Show to publicise his good health. On CNN this morning, a report on that appearance was followed by a segment on America's heroin epidemic (their words) with commentary by TV's Dr Drew. The world might be ending but at least we're not short of things to laugh about.
With his vibrant collection of summer florals and neat 40s' silhouettes, Michael Kors took fashion's favourite route in times of despair: an optimistic outlook - or just a break from all the gloom - expressed in the ease and breeze of light, super feminine dresses and tailoring, and jumpers with the word 'LOVE' knitted into them. With Wainwright's big band centre stage and Cameron Dallas looking like the lab product of a wholesome American fantasy courtside, you kind of had to surrender to all the positivity—at least for a few minutes. Even a rather dramatic fall on the runway couldn't get Bella Hadid down. She smiled her way through it and trooped on, and that's really all anyone could ask for. As optimists challenge pessimists, Kors' sentiment was one that will no doubt be repeated around the shows in Europe over the next three weeks, but as fashions travels on to a continent that has more on its mind than the American election, forgetting those troubles might be a slightly more daunting task.
At Boss, Jason Wu made a similar escape into colour—and lots of it—in a Hockney-like palette of colour-blocking on slouchy tailoring and buoyant summer dresses, backed up by a graphic set of big, round spotlights in those same colours. You've got to give it up to the Americans—their stiff upper lip might be tougher than the Brits'. At New York Fashion Week it's been business as usual (in both design and spirit) and while a little European drama and spleen will be welcome departure come the London, Milan and Paris shows, there's definitely something to be said for American showmanship. It's not for nothing that this is the nation that gave us reality TV as a means of snapping out of own. When it comes to presidential elections, however, let's have a little more reality and little less TV.
With thanks to Sixty Hotels for providing i-D accommodation during NYFW.
Text Anders Christian Madsen