In light of the fashion house’s fortieth anniversary, the American designer took over the Big Apple’s theatre district for an enchanting online presentation of his new FW21 Collection

Text by: Gilda Bruno

Michael Kors 40th Anniversary Show. Courtesy of Michael Kors

Michael Kors 40th Anniversary Show. Courtesy of Michael Kors

“I miss those city lights, those sparkling city lights, those twinkling city lights blurring my eyes,” reads the lyrics of the Broadway-inspired soundtrack written by Rufus Wainwright for Michael Korslatest Fall/Winter 2021 Collection, and we couldn’t relate more.

Entirely set in the theatre district of New York and directed by Alexandre de Betak, the online presentation of the brand’s new line saw the models making their way through some of the most iconic cultural venues of the city that never sleeps. A choice that of Michael Kors that could not have stressed more the nostalgia brought about by the enduring global closure of most entertainment locations including theatres, cinemas, and concert halls as a result of the restrictions put into place in response to COVID-19.

“The theater is the heartbeat and the pulse of New York City and an endless source of inspiration for me, so to see Broadway shut down has been really heartbreaking,” said Michael Kors referring to today’s uncertain scenario. But he did not limit himself to words; instead, the American designer decided to support the theatre industry, one of the worst-hit by the ongoing pandemic, through both a corporate and personal donation to The Actors Fund: an organisation meant to assist performers as well as entertainment professionals amid financial precariousness. 

From all-time-star Naomi Campbell and Italian beauty Vittoria Ceretti to American sensation Bella Hadid and South Sudanese-Australian supermodel Adut Akech, the women of Michael Kors graced the streets of New York City bringing new life to its temporarily deserted cultural centre. Throughout the collection, the outfits colour matching appeared to have been voluntarily shaped on the tones characterising the architectural volumes of the Big Apple’s theatre district. As a matter of fact, the so-called “big city neutrals” of black, white, ivory, smoke, midnight, camel, and a mesmerising shade of red served as the leitmotif of this FW 21 digital runway, often alternated with animalesque prints.

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What the American designer aimed at conveying to his public may be better described by the expressions he himself relied on to present the collection, namely “timeless glamour” and “opulent simplicity.” By recreating the captivating atmosphere and excitement that preceeded every pre-pandemic night out, the head of the fashion house succeeded in making the audience dream about a new exciting future. Menswear-inspired patterns and silhouettes completed the effortless sensual bearing with which the protagonists of this live-streamed show walked boldly towards the camera.

The audacity of sharp pinstripes was balanced by the elegant simpleness of head-to-toe monochromatic dresses and oversized puffer coats. A game of contrasting textures and volumes, from the gloss of plongé leather to the roughness of fur, from purposefully mini shrunken suits to overly loose outwear garments, gave the collection an engaging rhytm, keeping it away from monotony. Overall, Michael Kors seems to have taken his 40th Anniversary Show as an opportunity to celebrate the refinement of nightlife and the joy this one carries with itself: something that, given the current scenario, we cannot help enjoying.

“Whether you’re going to the office, having a casual dinner in the neighborhood or are in fact ready to go to a party again, this collection is all about making every moment a special occasion and feeling confident, glamorous and upbeat,” explained the American designer. “There’s a sense of timelessness and big-city optimism that has been a linchpin of Michael Kors since the very beginning — a yin-and-yang balance between opulence and simplicity, something that’s laid-back and at the same time luxurious.”

Watch the full digital runway below.