“Now voyager…memories of Africa…the rustic modernism of the Lebombo Lodge…an easy laid back attitude…raw beauty with a luxe savage edge,” so noted the Michael Kors Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection Showrun, a preface to a tranquil dreamscape expedition where we can shut out the world—these are the distant lands that inspired the collection’s understated glamour.
The quintessential American jetsetter who just celebrated his 30th anniversary invited us on an African safari for Spring 2012. Backstage the inspiring direction was, “You are the most glamorous, SEXY couple in safari history. Brad and Angelina are jealous of you. You are the modern Lauren Hutton and Peter Beard. Be STRONG, SEXY, and Have Fun!” While the brand’s principal direction generally unveils an urban excursion, exploring ports near and far, this season, Mr. Kors shifted from the hustle and bustle of metropolis to the languid luxury ofMozambique.
The Michael Kors Spring 2012 Runway Presentation opened with an instrumental version of Adele’s empowered women’s anthem “Rolling in the Deep,” before pulsating into a remixed club version of the chart topper—it should come as no surprise that Mr. Kors lead with this song, because his womenswear range and by extension his lifestyle brand are the sartorial personification of a strong, self-confident, worldly woman. While this season showed more relaxed sarongs, ponchos, and slouchy coats in artisanal textures, the fundamental undercurrent for this runway presentation was unmistakably KORS—a polished, yet pragmatic approach to luxury!
The 64 looks had a slightly utilitarian hand with rustic patchworks and graphic animal prints, creating what the designer referred to in his liner notes as, “Afriluxe!” The palette was earthtone-driven with varying shades of amber, antelope, cinnabar, clay, ivory, limestone, olive, sage, and sienna; featured prints included a leopard, python, tiger, and zebra. The fabrications (canvas cashmere, chiffon, georgette, hemp, jersey, leather, linen, and suede), hand-dyed, and hand-painted treatments gave the collection a distressed feeling, while the classically sophisticated silhouettes (anoraks, caftans, maillots, rompers, shift dresses, trench coats, and utility pants) maintained that dichotic escapist modernity that has long well-served Michael Kors as the foundation for his collection.
My favorite looks from the Michael Kors Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Runway Presentation included: the tiger print duchesse trench; the leopard hand-painted feathered shift; the leopard chiffon maillot caftan; the barley hand-painted trench; and the leopard hand-panted feathered handkerchief gown. Bronzed models with leather laces woven through their hair seemed to have been sunkissed by warm African sunsets. Whether by air, by land, or by sea, this collection had me channeling a primal instinct, in search of a faraway, undiscovered paradise.
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