For such an archetypal American designer, Michael Kors draws plenty of inspiration from the great European resorts: Capri, St. Tropez, Portofino. This spring, it was Mykonos and Santorini, where one can imagine the idle jet set of both genders strolling through the local market wearing not much more than a bikini and a breezy tunic.
As the soundtrack bounced from one cheery, cheesy Top 40 hit to another (like a rental-car radio being twiddled by a restless, but well dressed, passenger), Kors sent out a clean, commercially viable collection. There were equatorially bright shades of blue, lime green, and orange, exotic animal prints like tiger and python, and high-end bits like rich glittery brocade and the occasional fur or leather topper. The island feeling came through in crisp white pieces and embroidered tunics. And there were skimpy bathing suits aplenty, for women and men alike. One male model sported a nylon number so brief, editors compared him to Times Square's naked singing cowboy, while another model wore his with a cigara nod to Kors' owner, Laurence Stroll.
Balancing the simple and the luxurious is Kors' driving principle, and there were plenty of multitasking pieces: little cashmere cardigans to wear over a bikini or evening dress, for example, or silky jersey dresses that won't wrinkle when they're smushed into a suitcase. And the draped-chiffon goddess gowns that closed the show would look equally great on seaside terrace or red carpet. But Kors' collections, while always polished, have become as smooth as a moonlight sailand that's too bad. It would be nice to see Kors break out in a bold new direction. Next season, how about a trip to Atlantic City?