Cowgirls in Capes Michael Kors defines glamourous escapism with a western mood for fall
Choosing to show his Fall 2020 Michael Kors Collection show at the former American Stock Exchange on Trinity Place and then transforming the 1920’s Art Deco building into blackened western cabin made perfect sense when Kors explained his reasoning. Post-show backstage in between greeting friends, fans and VIPS, he told The Impression, “Honestly I think these are complicated times. I am an urban guy and our customers are mostly urban people but everyone just dreams of escaping to the country, unplugging and feeling a sense of coziness and ease but at same time, you can’t give up your city life so it’s the best of both and the blend of the two.”
It wasn’t set specifically anywhere in the American West but rather symbolic of places urban coastal types like to escape in challenging times. When the Canadian crooner Orville Peck, in all his masked glory, and his band came on stage the western mood brought to mind places like Big Sky Montana especially since Peck opened with his song “Big Sky.” But as tailored piece interspersed with the luscious heavy flannels and knits – no one does a funnel neck cashmere turtleneck like Michael Kors – the sophisticated mountain city of Denver also came to mind. Kors explained, “It’s cozy but glamorous. You know what? I think when you walk down a city street you want to feel confident and right now also, I think if you can feel protected that’s a good thing.”
Protection has never looked so good. Kors chose the cape – as a silhouette both protective and commandeering – and worked it into everything from cloaks with double capelet shoulders to cape sleeves on glittering sequin evening dresses. In between there were trench-style capes; poncho-style throws and 70s toggle closure version in bright orange and yellow. Plaid flannel blanket fabrics were wrapped as dresses and skirts enveloping the weather in warmth. The sweaters were often two garments transformed as one typing loosely around the neck for the ultimate cozy cuddle. Printed calf hair and paisleys peppered throughout for further westward leanings.
Kors showed his men’s collection alongside with men donning great outerwear like a cape and long red wool overcoat but nailed the ultimate men’s winter western look with a classic tobacco shearling car coat worn with white turtleneck and jeans worn on male model Achenrin. It was so spot on Aspen chic that even the Ken Barbie doll had this look in the Seventies. Shearling on the ladies looked great as a bathrobe coat and Adut Akech slayed it in a white shearling vest worn with tan turtleneck and skirt.
Indeed, these are complicated times especially concerning the consumption, the use of animal by-products and the impact of the garment industry on the environment. Kors had begun to address this within his company noting in the show notes that recycled and reclaimed materials and yarns were used and others used “responsibly sourced fibers.” The wood in the set will be donated to Materials for the Arts as well adding to the warm and fuzzy feeling of the show.