Michael Kors and Peter Do showed their Fall 2022 Ready-to-Wear collections on Tuesday, just a few hours apart. Michael launched his eponymous line in 1981; Peter Do in 2018. Michael has had countless formal runway shows. This is only Peter’s second. There is a 30 year age difference between the two, but there are also many similarities.
Both offer up polished and urbane takes on all American sportswear, focusing on tailoring. Coats rule (everything from mannish coats to off-the-shoulder double-face coats), and there are new takes on the matched suit, sleeveless vests, strong-shouldered jackets, distinctive knits, luxe leather, and sequins.
Both designers rely on a mainly neutral color palette. While Michael offers up hits of eye-popping orange, yellow, and fuchsia, the crux of his line, like Peter’s, plays out in camel, gray, black, and white, often used monotonically.
Each designer is highly consistent. You can tell who they are by just looking at the clothes. Do admits that they looked back to their first few collections and reworked things again for fall, such as the knitted shrugs (which are now elongated to the floor), the pleated maxi skirts, the wide-legged trousers, the architecturally constructed jackets, and coats, the perfectly cut denim, the distinctive white shirts.
And then there is the layering of skirts over pants. It’s a signature of Do’s since he began designing. It is now officially a ‘thing’ on recent runways.
The big difference between the two designers is that Michael seems to be stuck in a time warp (looking at the show, I often wondered what year this was), while Peter is believable and spot-on for now. Michael’s formulaic collection telegraphs a dressed-to-the-nines aesthetic that sometimes feels a bit out of step with the real world.
It’s nice to dream, but this is reality. Nothing is the same as it was two years ago, no matter how much you wish it were.
Kors is making a statement about getting out of our comfy sweats, sneakers, and slippers and strutting around town in high slit body con knits, in your face fluffy (faux) fur coats, pointy-toed high heeled pumps, aggressively sexy over knee boots, and head to toe traffic-stopping color. There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily. It’s just so obvious, predictable, and bourgeois.
Life is messy. Luxury looks best when it’s downplayed, and clothes look better when they are a bit off, a little imperfect. It’s all about finding the right balance.
On the other hand, Do is fostering a “new kind of glamour” in the tradition of Phoebe Philo, who he once worked for. Vestiges of Helmut Lang and Martin Margiela’s designs are also referenced in Do’s work (his design ‘heroes’).
Peter’s goal is to make beautifully constructed garments that combine refinement, comfort, and whimsy. His long, languid designs, color-blocked suits, doubled-up maxi coats, beautifully crafted leathers, and couture-like sequins are strikingly modern, luxurious, and wearable.
Peter grounds everything with a boot. There are flat riding boots, heeled boots, and platform boots that add a bit more height and balance off the voluminous shapes. Bags are luxurious and capacious or scaled-down and tailored; the epitome of pragmatic luxury.
I’ve been a huge fan of the 31-year-old Vietnamese American since his presentation for Spring/Summer 2020. Peter’s 2020 Fall Ready-to-Wear collection was notable for its elongated, waist-defining, strong-shouldered jackets, the play of textures, the inventive layering, and interesting proportions.
I was so impressed with those collections I wrote about him in my article: “NYFW’s Shiny New Objects.” I believe Peter is more than well on his way.
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These modern takes on the classics
make me want to say I Do!