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Philip Johnson's 1949 Glass House was the starting point for Michael Kors' pre-fall collection. "We were there for a party and I thought,michael kors outlet canada what year was this done that it looks so modern?" the designer explained as he pointed out pieces like a wood-grain-print sheath dress, a three-quarters-sleeve cheetah-print balmacaan, and color-blocked cashmere sweaters loosely inspired by the architect's midcentury masterpiece. Timeless and seasonless are buzzwords for Kors, so a suit with a sleeveless double-breasted jacket and a collarless black trench were also in the mix. "In this economy, women are investment-oriented," he added. If you can't afford to buy art, the designer has the answer: a Jackson Pollock splatter-print dress.Madonna and Lady Gaga may have been on the soundtrack, but Michael Kors' show was decidedly not meant for the pants-less set. Explaining that he was thinking about architectural shapes, he sent out a sleek collection that, save for a few missteps, played like an ode to the city in springtime, along with its high-powered inhabitants. The strong yet rounded shoulders of his jackets and vests put the power in power suit. Overall, though, he was more interested in sleeveless shift dresses, a favorite of his most high-profile client of all, Michelle Obama. They came in silver crinkle lamé, crushed techno taffeta, draped jersey, and glove leather, but the most interesting was a radzimir number in sky blue with origamilike folds. Kors created surface interest elsewhere with zipper accents that zigzagged around the torso of a mint green asymmetric-neckline sheath, or with bold cutouts that exposed a flash of rib on a cocktail dress.

Occasionally, Kors' enthusiasm got the better of him. Dresses with graphic plastic insets might pinch, were some gal to wear them longer than it takes to make a circuit of the runway. And a further detour into deconstruction and high concept—via cashmere knits with slashes at necklines and hems, along with a trio of sweaters with extra sleeves—was off-key. But the show ended on a high note, with a pair of trompe-l'oeil sequined dresses, their graphic shapes evoking a nighttime skyline.

"We were looking at some fabulous advertising from the late seventies and early eighties for Virginia Slims and Charlie," said Michael Kors before his show. "There was something about those women; mk bags on sale they were very sexy, but sporty at the same time." Kind of like the Kors woman. Come springtime, she'll need clothes for tennis at the club, lunch and a meeting in the city, cocktails, cruises, and galas, too. And today, on his runway, Kors had plenty of suggestions: He started with Lilly Pulitzer pastels, in stripes or Impressionist florals for the court and the beach, and tossed in a few of his beloved caftans before the show was over, this season in an oversize black-on-white flower print designed to complement white maillots with gold-chain straps. For the office, there were chic navy suitings and this season's must-have safari jacket paired with wide-leg trousers. After dark, his girls will have a few options: gold sequins, drapey black jersey, or fruity chiffons—as in guava, apricot, and apple.

With Olivia Newton-John's Xanadu on the speakers, the show could have become kitsch, but Kors leavened the frivolity with a healthy respect for classic cuts and silhouettes—and don't forget paper-thin cashmere, the building block of a smart spring wardrobe. In the battle between opulence and simplicity, Kors—when he's on solid form like this—wins.Michael Kors is a native New Yorker with serious prairie envy. Time and again, the designer seeks inspiration in America's open spaces. For spring, he set his sights on the Southwest and designed a collection that was half Texas, half Taos, but not without an urban edge. After all, his big-city girls, like Catherine Zeta-Jones, who, along with husband Michael Douglas, unleashed a paparazzi melee at the show, want to look chic no matter what their destination may be.

To that end, he offered up warm-weather staples with a rich seventies bent, like safari shirts, gauchos, and scarf dresses. There were ecrus, olives, browns, crisp blacks and whites, and painted desert accents of orange and red. Kors can't resist matching a bikini top with a full skirt; when the bottoms were on display, they were of the high-waist retro variety. (Gratefully, those eyelet numbers were lined.)

It wasn't all fun in the sun. Take away the hat tied around her neck, and Lisa Cant's black wool serge bolero and cropped pants go from Santa Fe to Manhattan's Upper East Side. Of course, his eveningwear—this season in tiers of chantilly lace and point d'esprit—is always gala ready, regardless of the time zone or backdrop.

Now back to the desert. Some members of the audience questioned Kors' use of camouflage. Was it a political statement, a message of support for our troops, or neither? One thing's for certain: His hand-painted camo-backed mink balmacaan is likely to inspire a waiting list a country mile long. rUGDF8Tv

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