Leave it to Michael Kors to channel our election-year anxieties about the future of the country into a feel-good paean to our homegrown style. From the first trill of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" to the last stretch jersey gown, Kors' collection was an extended riff on American classics, from teeny-weeny polka-dot bikinis (worn with fifties-style full skirts) and picnic-blanket-check pinafore dresses to sporty neoprene scuba shifts. Yes, even that much-maligned uniform of Middle America, the tracksuit, got a tweaking. Forget polyester: Kors' version comes in crushed silk.
In keeping with the flag-waving theme, there were more stripes than you'd find on all the lapel pins in Congress: pinstripes on an origami wrap dress, navy and red horizontal bands on a formfitting stretch knit sheath, and countless nautical tees and sweaters worn with crumpled cotton trousers, bathing-suit bottoms, and ball skirts. No, there was nothing subtle about it. And it wasn't the home run that last season's Mad Men romp was; for one thing, it didn't look as rich, and Kors' ladies like rich if nothing else. But you can't fault Kors' enthusiasm, or his joie de vivre (pardon our French). Only the most hardened cynics in the crowd left feeling less than optimistic.