Michael Kors knows how to take a theme and run with it. One season it's Ali MacGraw's 1970's; more recently it was Mad Men. But for Fall, it's not about a movie, or a TV show; it's about…real life. In his program notes, Kors riffed about "neo-classics," and on the runway there were clothes for corporate boardroom types, anchorwomen, and plenty of other gals for whom real life involves rocking a black fur sleeveless coat from time to time.

Tailoring was a focus. As if to prove that he can sniff out a trend, the designer tossed in a few jackets of the sort that have been making the rounds this week—some short-sleeved with squared-off, tucked shoulders; others with cutouts around the lapels. But Kors was at his strongest when he was thinking sleek: elongating, stretch gabardine cigarette trousers; a pantsuit almost as narrow as the chalk stripes on its charcoal flannel; double-face peacoats and balmacaans.

In a nod to the prevailing mood, he skipped long dresses entirely, favoring knee-grazing, one-shoulder numbers in matte sequins. Kors also thumbed his nose at the global gods of finance, whipping up shredded fox jackets and coats in neon pink, caution orange, and acid green. Those may be pretty hard to rationalize on a need basis. But as this savvy designer knows, that will make a certain type of woman want one all the more.