Michael Kors fall/winter collection

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Just before the Michael Kors show began, Molly Ringwald, who was sitting across from the front row, erupted into applause when Gloria Steinem made her entrance arm-in-arm with two pals. Steinem created the publication Ms., which turned 50 last year, and she is getting older. Fashion can sometimes seem like a young person’s game, and Kors’s audience included its fair share of ingenues, but on his moodboard this season, it was all muses of a 1970s vintage and gravitas: Steinem, Cher, Tina Turner, Lena Horne, Ali McGraw, and Jane Fonda, as well as a news clipping of Kors’s mother Joan, who made the paper when she attempted to try out for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Always a fan of the ’70s, Kors is at his best when evoking the period’s American sportswear, which had simple lines and an unfussy attitude. From the model’s shield sunglasses down to the micro shorts and knee-high boots, with a mile of exposed leg in between, the initial glance immediately brought to mind Steinem. Exaggerated bell-bottoms and short fringe dresses kept appearing, with the distinction being the type of fabrics Kors was employing. The flares were jersey stitched with micro sequins, making them comfy and glam, and the fringe was made of durable bonded suede so it could still be shimmying in 2070.

The hip-slung chrome buckle belt likely seems familiar because it was taken from a Kors line from around 2004. Another belt from the early 2000s that he recreated last season reportedly had a “crazy waiting list.” Kors has been around the block enough times to know that designing what you are familiar with actually pays off. The “ridiculous hijinks” witnessed on other New York runways are not for him. Instead, we received the designer’s trademark double-faced cashmere outerwear, sturdy double-breasted suit jackets, and soft knit dresses with flexible bell sleeves, which Horne famously claimed were her secret weapon in the wardrobe department. Was there even the slightest hint of resistance in naming all those people in their 70s and 80s? I cherished seeing that.

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