After last season's road trip through the Painted Desert, Michael Kors returned to the East Coast for fall inspirations—specifically to Jay Gatsby's West Egg and the Harvard stomping grounds of Love Story's Ali MacGraw. For fans of the designer's trademark mix of tony chic and all-American prep, it was a sure-to-please match.

Gatsby brought long vests and knickers, drop-waist shifts jauntily tied with bows, and a cocktail party's worth of crystals, mostly on flapper dresses, to the relationship. MacGraw's contributions included rugby stripes, handkerchief hems, paisleys, and cable-knit cardigans. Then there were her collegiate accessories: distressed-leather belts, argyle knee socks, and, yes, those iconic knit caps.

This is well-trodden territory, of course. The actress, and her early-seventies era, has long been a house favorite. As effortless as the marriage clearly is, it wouldn't hurt for Kors to let his eyes wander a bit for a new, more modern muse. The first place he should look is his own dazzling socialite- and celebrity-packed front row.