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Michael Kors channels his inner theatre geek at New York Fashion Week

Michael Kors is a known theatre geek, and he channelled that enthusiasm in a fashion show that featured show tunes on the soundtrack and Playbill-style programmes on the seats.

There was a theatricality to the fashions, too, and you could call it an Anything Goes vibe: Fancy with casual, plaid with lace, even shower slides for evening. The very first ensemble on the runway mixed tartan, floral and animal print.

That same spirit was present in the soundtrack, which included brief snippets of so many songs from so many eras, one could be forgiven for seeing one’s life pass before one’s eyes. My Fair Lady and West Side Story and The Sound of Music were represented, but so was TV’s Sex and the City and classical ballet’s Swan Lake. Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl morphed into Petula Clark’s Downtown of two decades earlier. There were also snippets from The Graduate, The Hamilton Mixtape, and, at the end, Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things.

Designer Michael Kors waves after the showing of his 2018 fall collection during New York Fashion Week on February 14. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Backstage, Kors explained the show’s vibe as “like a Fellini film or an Almodovar film where you’ve got all these characters and these people who float through my head.” For starters, he mentioned Margot Tenenbaum (Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in The Royal Tenenbaums) Solange Knowles, Zendaya, Blake Lively, and Ryan Gosling — people whose personal style he admired.

“We’re living in the swipe era,” Kors explained. “So there’s not one way to look, there’s not one way to present yourself. You can wear shower slides at night. You can wear stiletto, leopard, a slip for day. We don’t pay attention to the seasons anymore. It’s really just how do you express yourself with fashion.”

Zendaya and Lively were just two of the many celebrities attending Kors’ show on Wednesday; they were joined in the front row by actress Emily Blunt. All were dressed by Kors, of course, Lively in a bright red patent leather coat, Blunt in a striped T-shirt and rose-patterned satin skirt, and Zendaya in a track jacket and joggers, under a wool trench.

Kors noted that it was Valentine’s Day, and called the show “a valentine to men and women who understand the joy of getting dressed, and love fashion and personal style and iconic New York. As for the theatre theme, he quipped: “This is as close as you’ll get to Michael Kors on Broadway.”

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