Billionaire designer Michael Kors kicked off Valentine’s Day at New York Fashion Week Wednesday with a love letter to his home town, an explosion of contrast with on-trend black for evening.
If fall/winter 2018 has underscored the identity crisis plaguing New York’s biannual style fest with a thinning schedule and glut between the passing of one generation and the search for another, then Kors’ answer to the problem was scatter gun.
“The last thing you want is someone telling you what to wear, when to wear it and how to wear it. You do what you want, when you want,” the 58-year-old tweeted after the show.
Friend and actress Black Lively sat front row dressed in a bright scarlet trench as models strode up and down the stairs, winding through the lobby of the Vivian Beaumont Theater on the last day of Fashion Week.
The electic soundtrack — everything from Petula Clark’s “Downtown,” to West Side Story’s “I Feel Pretty” and Jay-Z and Alicia Key’s “Empire State of Mind” — reflected the riot of contrast, an explosion of florals, stripes, animal print and tartan.
Closing with Julie Andrew’s “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music,” the looks ranged from sporty, to red flannel, loud yellow and black check, grey argyle, oversized woolen scarfs, leopard print and plaid for fall 2018.
Kors checked the canary yellow trend often seen this season, and continued his tradition of using curve models in the line-up, sending out both Ashley Graham and Sabina Karlsson.
For evening there was black — the color appropriated on the red carpet this awards season by women protesting against sexual harassment — but usefully the color adored by wealthy New York women wanting to look as slim as possible.
There was a long backless black sequin dress with trumpet sleeves and black sequin pants, paired with bedroom-slipper-style shoes.
“I wanted the show to be a love letter to New York,” said Kors of the city synonymous with his label — his MK bags as ubiquitous on the subway as his high-end dresses are favored by the likes of First Lady Melania Trump.
“So much of New York is iconic, from the architecture to the theater to the faces, and anyone who’s ever been here has their own New York story,” he said.
In the Broadway-style playbill given to guests, he called it “a Valentine to personal style.” At the end, Kors shot out up and down the runway, dressed in a black suit and sneakers, blowing kisses.
Fashion Week closes Thursday with US high-fashion darling Marc Jacobs, before the season flits to London, Milan and Paris.