The icon talks '70s style idols and Dallas’ anti-stiff glamour.
Michael Kors, left, poses with Ken Downing and models donning looks from his fall 2019 RTW collection at Neiman Marcus.
Turquoise seas and cell phone-free days. Bianca Jagger and Rudolf Nureyev. These are a few of iconic fashion designer Michael Kors’ favorite things, and the inspiration behind his spring and fall 2019 ready-to-wear-collections.
On a warm April Wednesday, Kors touched down for a day to show his collections at Neiman Marcus NorthPark Center. Since the 1980’s, the designer has traveled to Dallas and observed the stylish women that walk our streets, dine at our restaurants and float through our parties.
We sat down with Kors to chat about these ladies and how his happy new collections came to life.
Your spring collection is inspired by Sand To Soiree; this very all-day, summer-chic vibe. There aren't any beaches in Dallas, but our women subscribe to this idea of laid-black glam. Where do you see Dallas ladies wearing these pieces?
I think what’s cool about Dallas is that—in all my years of coming here—I’ll see women who get dressed when some people think it’s a casual situation, and then I’ll see people who are really laid back when it’s a dressier situation. The whole idea is that glamorous doesn’t have to be stiff. So I think that you could do a flip-flop, an outrageous pair of black chiffon pants and a hoodie with a diamond pull, and you can wear that to a backyard barbecue. There are a lot of fun, romantic dresses [in the collection] that women in Dallas would wear to work, to lunch, or—with a change of shoes—it would go to dinner or a party.
Can you describe Dallas women’s style in three words?
She loves fashion!
I love it! Back to the spring collection: it’s super playful and easy. You can't look at it without feeling happy.
That’s the point!
Was there something in particular that made you want to put out a collection like this?
I started designing the collection when we were in the midst of terrible weather in New York. I had just gotten back from Europe and it was gray, raining, and gross. [It was a time when I had] just started thinking about [how] we are all so attached to our phones, that we never feel like we can escape and let out a sigh of relief. I thought to myself—regardless of the weather, regardless of too much information coming your way—I wanted to created this optimistic, escapist, joyful collection that, the minute you put it on, it changes your spirit. So we really loved the idea of this imaginary, escapist place [where] the skies were always blue, the water was bright turquoise... and you can feel that way when you are sitting in your office or if you are living in a place where there is no blue water, it doesn’t matter. I think everyone just craves that escape and that joy.
Both your spring and fall collections have heavy '70s influences. Who are your '70s style icons?
Oh my God, many! Definitely Jackie Kennedy, Diana Ross, Allie McGraw, Lauren Hutton, Farah Fawcett, Bianca Jagger... Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov; all the ballet dancers were pretty great. Ryan O’Neal... who else floats through my brain? That would be in the cast.
What are your summer plans?
We will be in California, north and south... going to the South Pacific in August, so we will be in Tahiti and Bora Bora; and going to my beach house on Long Island.
Photography by: Laura McCarthy