If there’s one thing we’ve collectively needed this year, it’s a sense of comfort. It’s almost as if Michael Kors knew this when he set out to create his Fall 2020 collection. While these designs were shown a month before the current pandemic brought North America to a screeching halt, this collection would eventually suit our impending need to disconnect from reality. And though not everyone can disappear to the countryside right now, Kors has provided a sartorial escape from the chaos and stress of day-to-day life.
Describing the line as “cozy luxury,” Kors has decidedly created the uniform for unplugging in style this fall. “It was about escaping the busy urban environment that so many of us live in and really reconnecting with ourselves and with the world around us,” said Kors.
Inside an American Stock Exchange Building transformed into a tranquil countryside, his usual cast of “It girls”—including Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Adut Akech and Freja Beha Erichsen—walked a rustic wooden runway surrounded by a barn-like backdrop. Chunky, oversized knitwear and capes featured heavily—the most notable being the orange-striped camel blanket cape worn by Kaia Gerber, which paid homage to a similar design worn by Naomi Campbell in Michael Kors’s 1999 Fall runway over two decades ago (the iconic cape quickly caught the eye of Joan Didion, who was photographed by Tina Barney wearing it soon after).
This, of course, is not the first time Kors has dipped into an equestrian theme, but this collection in particular fuses together multiple aspects of Americana: the luxury and hustle of a big city mixed with the relaxed approach to pastoral living. Sparkling party dresses were paired with riding boots. Tweed coats were showcased alongside paisley frocks and cow-print jackets. There was nary a high- heeled shoe in sight. “You can have this very laid-back attitude without losing the polish and the glamour that you need in a more urban setting,” said Kors.
There was a clear utilitarian feel to the sleek accessories, with cross-body bags and harness-like belts, evoking saddles on a horse. “All of the handbags this season are hands- free,” said Kors. “They’re designed to be slung over the shoulder so that you can move through life at a fast clip.”
Adding to the rustic-chic ambience was a performance by Orville Peck, the Canadian country singer known for hiding his face behind fringed leather masks. Decked out in head-to-toe Michael Kors, Peck showed off his modern approach to classic country music, which complemented Kors’s love of “taking something that has longevity and twisting it.”
Kors certainly knows a thing or two about longevity. Having played a key role in defining American style over the past 40 years, he’s witnessed the fast-paced evolution of the industry firsthand. This pandemic has forced a necessary moment of reflection for the fashion world, but Kors believes this pause will only benefit the future of the industry and his brand.
“I think the system is overdue for a change, and now’s the perfect time to think about what we can do to make it better,” said Kors.