NEW YORK – One of America’s best-known fashion designers Michael Kors has always been true to his inner definition of an American woman – elegant, chic, strong and womanly; exactly the same qualities women around the world admire and the same reason why they likewise love his clothes.
Makeup at Michael Kors Spring 2014 was soft, barely-there, with a sweet pink lip; hair was wavy, touselled and pinned up in loose, vaguely 1940s up-dos. Image: Niki Bruce using Canon Powershot SX510 HS digital camera
At the crack of dawn (OK, at 7.30am) on the day of his runway show at New York Fashion Week Spring Summer 2014, the designer is calmly fielding questions from random journalists backstage as the frenzy that is the hours before a major fashion show carries on behind him.
Pleasant, smiling and warm, Michael is happy to chat – albeit quickly – about not only his new collection, but also about how his brand translates in the global market, particularly in Asia. On discovering I was from Singapore, he mentioned that he “visits about once a year” and that he knows the country for its “tropical, humid weather and freezing air-conditioning”.
“The brand has always largely been about travelling,” says Michael when asked about the importance of the Asian market for Michael Kors. “And people today travel a great deal; our Asian customers especially. I can go to our store in Madison Avenue and it’s like the United Nations. My designs are in line with that … I create a travel wardrobe that transcends [the seasons], which makes it great for our global customer.”
When asked about whether or not he designs with a specific market in mind, or creates pieces for Asia in particular, Michael noted that the brand makes an effort to use fabrics that will stand up to the travails of being worn in extremely humid weather or be easily packed, sharing that “wearability” translates across every country’s customers whether from Europe, Asia or America.
MICHAEL KORS SPRING 2014
Opening with a breezy, and perfectly warm-weather-appropriate white linen crepe jacket with a gauzy white linen skirt, the Michael Kors Spring 2014 collection was all about a “summer romance” made up of opposites – tailored versus fluid; short versus long; country versus city.
Looks from Michael Kors Collection Spring 2014 runway show. Image: Niki Bruce using Canon Powershot SX510 HS digital camera
The shapes were reminiscent of the 1940s mixed with early 1970s – particularly in the shape of the sleeves, with tiny puff-pleats at the shoulders and ending at the elbow; likewise the button-through treatment on blouses and dresses, as well as the mid-calf length of the skirts and the full, wide-legs of the trousers.
More white looks in linen, hemp raffia, hemp linen and cotton/linen garbardine continued the summer holiday feel, although the addition of a white fox fur “chubby” gave a nod to cooler evenings.
Highlighted in the programme notes, the “new sweater blouse” or “cozy cardigan” offered a new wardrobe staple for women who work – more comfortable than a shirt or blouse, but more formal than a t-shirt, it’s the perfect transition piece worn on its own or over a matching dress as shown.
Moving from white to other “neutrals” like beige, oxford stripes, cream and chambrey, the collection had a 70s collegiate feel with sweaters slung over shoulders, flouncy dresses in “denim batik lace” print, sweatshirts and swing coats.
A series of pieces in chambray and indigo denim was perfectly on trend for next season, Michael paired his versions with cotton cashmere shorts and bandeau tops – the midriff is also a major trend for SS14 – and printed dresses.
Harking back to the 70s, “nutmeg” – classic reddish brown – was another strong concept in the collection, so much so that it even appeared in Michael’s evening wear in a stunning nutmeg and white stretch jersey “mini-paillette vine bandeau” gown on the equally stunning Karlie Kloss. Yet another strong look in nutmeg was a georgette, python-trimmed dress worn by top model Joan Smalls.
The bag of the collection, as seen here with Joan Smalls, is a softly structured large clutch that also comes as a satchel; the shoes were platform sandals with chunky wooden heels, very 1940s in inspiration and perfect for clomping down city streets. Image: Niki Bruce using Canon Powershot SX510 HS digital camera
In fact the Michael Kors Spring 2014 show was a veritable roll call of top model names; Karolina Kurkova, Liu Wen, Ji Hye, Shu Pei, the aforementioned Karlie and Joan, and the fabulous Karen Elson, who closed the show wearing a beautiful grass green and white printed jersey halter-neck gown with mini-paillettes, with a white chesterfield coat thrown casually over her shoulders.
Karen Elson in the finale gown at Michael Kors Collection Spring 2014 runway show. Image: Niki Bruce using Canon Powershot SX510 HS digital camera
The final look epitomised the overall collection; a chic, elegant mix of city and country clothes where you wear a flirty summer skirt with a slit up to there during the day and throw on a cashmere cardigan when the evening cools down.
Michael Kors Spring 2014 is chic, wearable, adaptable and has enough figure-flattering looks to suit all body types; the long skirts and full trousers might overwhelm shorter women, but the cheeky shorts, summer dresses and linen maillots – not really for swimming; more like playsuits – will be absolutely perfect for Singapore’s hot and humid weather.
Michael Kors Collection ready-to-wear Spring 2014 collection will be available in Singapore from the new Michael Kors Collection store set to open in March 2014 at Marina Bay Sands. Michael Kors Collection bags and Michael Kors bags, shoes, accessories & ready-to-wear is available from the boutique at Scotts Square. For more information about Michael Kors, go to www.michaelkors.com. You can follow the brand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/michaelkors, on Twitter at @michaelkors, on Instagram at @michaelkors; on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/michaelkors and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/michaelkors. Follow the hashtag #allaccesskors for a behind-the-scenes peak at Michael Kors.