Michael Kors on how his Spring Summer 2017 collection makes you look sexy


As a lifestyle fashion brand, Michael Kors is meant to appeal to the everyday wardrobe needs of real women. But can it make every one of its customers look sexy? Michael Kors himself says “yes”. The designer was in Singapore to witness the unveiling of an eponymous orchid, film a segment with CNN’s Alina Cho, speak with more press, attend a cocktail-making session with regional influencers, grace the opening of his flagship boutique at Mandarin Gallery, and dine with VIPs and industry insiders – all in a matter of two days.

For someone who’s spent 35 years designing clothes and accessories that appeal to real women universally, and turned that into one of the most successful fashion lifestyle labels around, it’d be against his nature to stereotype sexiness; to boil it down to a specific look or physical attribute.

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“Sexy for every woman is a different thing so (to me), it’s about having confidence… Does a woman have a kind of confidence when she walks into a room?” he says. “It’s not about how tight your dress is, how high your shoes are, or how bare you are. People sense confidence, and that’s what I think is appealing.”

As predictable and politically correct as that might sound for a designer known to be both savvy and gregarious, Kors has the work to back him up. Every season, his collection balances elegance with practicality, glamour with comfort.

Take Spring Summer 2017, in which he updates the classic white blouse in light cotton gauze and adds ruffles on the sleeves. In the same collection, he puts a modern, relaxed spin on a sequinned maxi dress by using ultra-light silk crepe and adding side cut-outs. In short, his pieces assure women that they look and feel special – and can still do what they need to do every day.

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kendall_jenners_runway_look.jpgKendall Jenner's Runway Look

Kors distils his Spring Summer 2017 collection to dish out some words of wisdom.

Be a Dame

“No one uses the word ‘dame’ anymore, but (when I was designing) I kept thinking about the balance of something romantic with something strong and powerful. Then I started thinking about the women who remind me of that attitude… Back in the ’40s, you had these women who were dames – they were tough, but also flirty and fun. There was Barbara Stanwyck, Lauren Bacall and Katharine Hepburn… I think women today still want to find that same balance (and that’s what the collection is about).”

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sharp_jacket_and_shirt_dress_with_an_up-to-there_slit_.jpgSharp jacket and shirt dress with an up-to-there slit

Take Control

“(The dames that inspired me) include Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and Kim Basinger. They’re different, but they’re all rule breakers. If Hepburn wore red lipstick, she wore no other makeup. And she was wearing pants when no other women were. Stanwyck was interesting looking, but her confidence made her beautiful. And Basinger? She knew that she was hot. When you watch L.A. Confidential (1997), you know she knew she was powerful and potent. It’s the same thing today. Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Angela Merkel are all dames. Being a dame means never taking no for an answer.”

Age does not matter

“If you look at Bella Hadid in my SS17 show walking down the catwalk in her black beaded dress (a ’40s-style tulle sheath with ruffled sleeves and wide leather belt), you’ll realise that she seems ageless. That’s what I wanted the collection to be – you can be 20 or 60 and wear it.”

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joan_smalls_and_kendall_jenner_modelling_michael_kors_ss17_collection.jpgJoan Smalls and Kendall Jenner modelling Michael Kors' SS17 Collection

Be Subtle

“Think about how we opened the show with Joan Smalls in a coat dress. First of all, a term like ‘coat dress’ – when was the last time we saw (such strong) tailoring in fashion? Clothes have been very unstructured, but (there was Smalls) with a strong shoulder, sharp waist and sleeves pushed up. She’s very business-like, but when she walks, her whole leg peeks out and it’s bare… At first glance, the whole collection is very covered up, but when one moves, you’ll realise it’s very provocative.”

Know yourself

“It used to be that the only people who knew themselves well were actresses and entertainers. They were used to being photographed, so they would analyse their pictures and say, ‘No, no, I don’t like red. I’m not going to wear red again. It was a mistake.’ Or ‘Oh, I always look good in strapless, so I’ll do strapless.’ Now, everyone sees a million photographs of himself or herself, so we have no excuse not to be self-knowledgeable. The confidence to know what’s right and what’s not for you – that’s sexy.”

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wasp-waisted_floral_sheaths_next_to_masculine_oversized_layered_separates.jpgWasp-waisted floral sheaths next to masculine, oversized layered separates

Story originally appeared on Female.

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