Michael Kors: Et Tu Brute?

Prairie florals, fringe, streamers, silver nail heads, metal chains, ostrich feathers, skirts slashed and slit up to ‘there’, acid green paired with baby blue. If you told me these would be the components of Michael Kors’s Fall 2016 collection (sometimes appearing all together in one outfit lol), I would ask what you were smoking. But that pretty much sums up what was sent out on the uncharacteristically busy and gussied up runway at Spring Studios on Wednesday morning.

Celine camel coat with extra long mink belt Fall 2014
& Fall 2016 camel coat belted in long mink scarf

Michael’s strength has long been the way he puts his inimitable spin on luxury (All American, easy, minimal to the max). With the exception of a few pieces here and there (and the ensembles worn by the male models), this undercurrent was very much under the radar, if nonexistent. You can always count on him for the best coats and sweaters on the planet (especially for the fall/winter season, which was exemplified last year). They were missing as well. And worse, it was as though he was taking his cues from other designers at times (Celine’s elongated mink belts; Prada’s floral intarsia furs; Vetements’ and Saint Laurent’s prairie florals; Gucci’s gussied up chunky heeled loafers)

Prairie floral slit front shirt dress

Speaking of Gucci, Alessandro Michele’s successful redo of the label (making it more colorful, more eclectic, and more individual), has not gone unnoticed or uncelebrated in the fashion world, and it’s natural that some designers would want to hop on the A.M. bandwagon. Michael’s run of show talked about “the inimitable chic of individual style” but it didn’t quite translate that way and let’s face it, not everyone can handle color, shine, retro inspired fashion, and individualistic style quite like Alessandro, Miuccia Prada, or Joseph Font for Delpozo for that matter. .

A study in lavender

There’s nothing wrong with a designer experimenting and trying new things, but when it looks forced, unbelievable, and unnatural, it doesn’t ring true and can backfire. Unfortunately, in my opinion this was the case yesterday. You can always feel the vibe in the air at a fashion show, and I sensed that it was not one of Michael’s best received collections. All was quiet until Michael came out at the end, with his usual upbeat stroll on the runway but he must have sensed it as well.

Ostrich and tweed

Everyone has an off day and I’m hardly worried about Michael’s future or his finances. He’ll still probably sell a ton, especially the shoes and bags which are always a strong category for him (it’s impossible not to notice all the women wearing MK logoed bags and shoes on the subway and on the street). If nothing else, I’ll keep him in business; I think I’ve bought every sneaker he’s made in the last few seasons. They’re not only chic (and jazzy in a good way), but since my initials are also MK, I can say they literally have my “Marilyn Kirschner” on them. By the way, I should mention that Richard Sinnott, an assistant accessories editor at Harper’s Bazaar during the time I was Senior Market Editor, who went on to become Accessories Director, is now the Creative Director of Accessories and Footwear at Michael Kors.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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