Michael Kors SS22 was an exercise in practical optimism
The American powerhouse's latest collection was a sleek, subtle play of contrasts.
Images courtesy of Michael Kors
As you’re no doubt well aware, New York Fashion Week SS22 is set to culminate in the opening of a long-awaited exhibition at The Met’s Costume Institute — In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. As such, it’s hard not to read whatever we see on the runway as a vision of what American fashion is and could be. Of all the shows on this season’s calendar, though, there are few that are as well placed to offer as robust and confident a proposal as Michael Kors.
Synonymous with clothes that are inherently confident, easy-wearing and optimistic, the New York powerhouse yesterday presented a collection that served as a revindication of those values. Shown in a particularly bucolic nook of Central Park, it oozed both breezy romance and assured sensuality. The delicacy of snow-white broderie anglaise car coats and apron dresses was counterposed by the smokey-eyed sexiness of bralette and high waisted skirt twin sets in dusky wool (as sported by Kendall Jenner) and buttery black leather, and cosy intarsia jumpers with loveheart motifs and frothy sugar-pink mohair knits were balanced out by trenches, blazers and trousers of the most exacting cut. Sporty crop tops and skirts in gingham and cut-out poplins gave off a sense of spriteliness fit for the tennis court, while a cinched, sequinned evening dress and a cut-out column implied a svelte, red-carpet-ready severity.
Rather than an attempt to cast the net wide, though, this subtle play of opposites spoke to a fundamental versatility that has long defined Michael Kors’ approach to fashion. He’s always been committed to offering women a robust, distinguished wardrobe — one that’s varied enough for anyone, no matter their sartorial inclinations, to be able to dress themselves in it, but that. by virtue of the consideration invested in it, never feels ubiquitous or commonplace. That these are clothes that exude a sense of optimism is self-evident, but what makes them noteworthy is that that optimism doesn’t carry over into misguided fantasy, as it so often does. Rather, these are clothes rooted in a concrete understanding of the people that will eventually go on to wear these clothes, and how they’ll choose to wear them.