Michael Kors opened his Celine show with Caroline Ribeiro walking out in a long camel coat, black silk shirt with a matching fringed silk scarf, and a pair of what he calls "flight pants." It signaled the mood of a collection that was about well-cut, understandable sportswear with an international spin aimed at women with a taste for modern classics.

The warm, rugged WWII flying jacket has functioned as an iconic taking-off point for many designers this season. Kors refined it into a beautiful sandblasted shearling patchwork coat and a series of variations on the bomber jacket, and extrapolated the antique leather look into skirts and almost luggage-sized hand-held totes. He also transposed elements of the classic pilot's jumpsuit—zippered pockets, military cottons—into casual pants and skirts in a soft gray waxed nylon and later into citified broadcloth.

But this was no history-of-aviation theme show. Instead, Kors concentrated on workable wardrobe options like luxe wool denim jeans with a tapering flare, turtlenecks, belted leather jackets and slim ankle-length cardigan coats in cashmere knit. But while fur shrugs and a huge wine-colored fox worn by Carmen Kass added a special touch, something was missing from this well-behaved presentation. Michael Kors is one of the wittiest characters in the fashion universe, and Paris mourns the sense of humor he's applied in happier seasons.