Michael Kors’ 40th-anniversary show was an ode to Broadway, complete with a star-studded (virtual) audience, a supermodel-packed runway and an homage to some of the iconic American designer’s greatest hits.
In what could best be described as a Theater District takeover perfect for saluting coronavirus-sidelined productions, the opening act revealed a Zoom call packed with Broadway mega-stars — including Bette Midler, Billy Porter, Debra Messing, Cynthia Nixon and Chita Rivera, to name a few — whose screens appeared to be placed on the legendary walls of one of Kors’ go-to restaurants, Sardi’s.
They riffed off each other while also asking viewers who tuned in to consider donating to The Actors Fund.
A highlight included Jane Krakowski playfully mocking Midler’s malfunctioning screen: “OK, we’re a year into this — how are you still muted, Bette?”
The second act revealed Shalom Harlow leading a supermodel lineup strutting on 45th Street in a collection that’s best described as classically Kors: all-American luxury sportswear infused with the designer’s penchant for effortless glamour.
In preparation for this landmark collection, Kors admitted to keeping “really s–tty archives,” as he would liberally gift friends who loved iconic pieces from seasons past. Despite that, there was no shortage of clothes that celebrated — as Kors succinctly summed what we are all craving — “stepping out again.”
Offerings were mostly monochromatic looks in neutral hues — black, cream, red, gold, hints of animal prints and what Kors dubbed “provocative camel.” Think sequined turtlenecks styled with relaxed-fit pants, open-shoulder knits topped over thigh-high slit pencil skirts, crystal-covered gray pinstripe suits, and — as Kors exclaimed, “if you must wear yoga pants!” — dress them up with an oversized faux-fur trimmed coat and pointy-toe slingbacks.
Some looks were accompanied with QR codes — a nod to how we cue up menus when dining outdoors — that would reveal the garment’s origin story: most notably, the red patent coat worn by Bella Hadid. Fun fact: Cindy Crawford modeled the original version of that look on Kors’ runway in 1991.
Act 3 concluded the spectacle with a ’90s supermodel lineup, which was preceded by an already super lineup including Irina Shayk, Alek Wek, Paloma Elsesser and Ashley Graham. Helena Christensen, Carolyn Murphy and Naomi Campbell — who closed the show — sauntered in wearing sparkly gowns, some of which were topped with sweeping outerwear.
The glamorous wares and the women wearing them were made wholly vibrant against a Times Square backdrop and Rufus Wainwright singing “New York State of Mind.” It’s safe to say that this best-in-show moment felt one step closer to turning the city’s lights back on.