When it comes to ways to warm up a fashion crowd on a cold New York evening, singer Miguel performing Prince covers is probably a pretty safe bet. That’s what was served up at Michael Kors’ autumn/winter 2022 show at New York fashion week on Tuesday evening.
If Kors’ shows are typically razzle-dazzle affairs with lots of invitees and celebrity guests – a February 2019 extravaganza had Barry Manilow singing Copacabana and a glitter gun – this had the star performer but it was a more intimate affair.
It was the soundtrack to an equally “up” collection worn by models including Bella and Gigi Hadid, Paloma Elsesser and Natasha Poly. More watched online. The show had been teased on Kors’ Instagram account all week and it was live-streamed on his website.
This was very much a collection aimed at life outside the home. It started with the uptown polish Kors is known for – with a series of impeccably cut camel coats worn with knitwear and high boots in the same shade.
This was followed by little black dresses, concrete grey knits and coats in faux crocodile or a zingy shade of orange. Designs were either made for work (a short skirt suit, a fuchsia trouser suit), travel (some models carried XXL carry-on bags) or – often – nights out.
About 100 people watched Miguel, in leather trousers and trench, with a live band on stage, sing Raspberry Beret and I Would Die 4 U.
They saw a yellow sequin minidress, an asymmetric silver frock, oversized faux fur coats in crayon colours and a male model wearing a feather boa worthy of Harry Styles – or, indeed, Prince.
On a video call the day before his show, Kors explained the thinking behind it. “It’s about resilience, confidence, strength, and really stepping out – stepping out and sort of strutting your stuff,” he said.
Coming out of the pandemic made the designer think of other moments in his history.
“I thought back in the early 90s, we were at the height of the Aids pandemic. We felt that the world was ending but yet we still craved going out … And when 9/11 happened … Everyone said no one would ever live downtown in New York again. And in fact, we saw this incredible explosion of energy and glamour.”
Kors hopes this optimism – in wardrobes and lifestyles – will grow now, too. “We’ve all been on this crazy rollercoaster, in every city in the world. But … people just want to go back, to gather. There are lines at the bar at the Carlyle, here in New York.”
Kors’ clothes, one can surmise, are what these people might wear for their new diary dates.
“I love the evening clothes,” he said, of the collection. “Most of them are in jersey so they’re comfortable. You can actually move, you can dance, you can have fun all night long.”
This optimism tallies with the projection from Capri, the group that owns the Michael Kors brand, that consumers will be buying more luxury products as the world comes out of lockdowns.
In June 2021, the group raised its fiscal forecast for this year. Capri now expects annual revenue in 2022 to be about $5.15bn (£3.8bn), compared to previous forecast of about $5.10bn (£3.76bn).