On a sun-dappled day in New York, the fashion pack made their way to a warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a sprawling World War II-era factory. As they took their seats, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City launched into a smooth rendition of “American Pie”.
It was scene-setting at its best for a show that paid tribute to “the powerful romanticism of the 1940s” and classic Americana. There were jaunty caps, preppy blazers, boxy bags, high-waisted trousers, pleated skirts, and of course, summer’s must-have accessory, the bucket hat. Blue, white and red streamed down the runway, with classic sportswear pieces juxtaposed against punky details like leather and tartan. Think New England versus the Lower East Side, Kors said of the stylistic mash-up.
The fashion was fresh and fun, but also imbued with meaning. Take the proliferation of stars and stripes; over the summer, Kors visited Ellis Island and learnt about his immigrant grandparents’ arrival to the United States. “The experience made me feel more patriotic, more open,” he said.
As such, he drew inspiration from life in the 1940s. “The world was in upheaval, and Americans rolled up their sleeves and got to work,” said Kors. His ode to optimism was perhaps most pertinent in a cashmere sweater with the word HATE splashed across it, then purposefully slashed out.
Positive thinking, but make it fashion. Summed up Kors, “As the world gets worse, it’s the only ammunition we have.”