The Spring 2017 Michael Kors Collection

Designers left and right this week have been talking about the uplifting nature of fashion, but nobody’s left us feeling quite as uplifted as Michael Kors. With his old pal Rufus Wainwright on the mic, crooning Judy Garland’s “Get Happy,” the crowd, which included Sienna Miller and Emily Blunt, was fairly bopping in its seats.

The clothes matched the upbeat mood of the music. Kors gave his signature feminine/masculine plot line a ’40s-by-way-of-the-‘80s twist, conjuring “dames” (his word) from Barbara Stanwyck and Katharine Hepburn, to Kim Basinger. “They were women,” he said backstage, “who were very provocative, very flirty, but also in control.” On the one hand, he had little nipped-waist dresses and peephole-neck jumpsuits in vivid floral prints. And on the other: belted pant suits, a twill trench, and boyish argyle knits. Colors were juicy, like grapefruit pink and lime green, or they were streamlined black, white, and navy. Kors is an equal opportunity optimist, spreading his glass-half-full perspective worldwide. He sent out two versions of a “Love” sweater, a slouchy one for girls, and a snug one for boys; the former is one of a handful of items available for sale now. Among the others was a plunge-front, ruffle-sleeved little black dress—again that dichotomy.

Love wasn’t Kors’s only message. Before Wainwright broke into “Get Happy,” he declared, “I’m with her,” and Hillary got a shout-out midway through. Do politics and fashion mix? That’s another subject designers have wrestled with this week, with some expressions feeling perhaps too explicit (Opening Ceremony) and others not explicit enough (Yeezy). Wainwright’s off-handed, but deeply felt plug was another thing about this show that felt just right.

by Nicole Phelps

The Spring 2017 Michael Kors Collection