Fall is Michael Kors’ season. That’s not to say he doesn’t impress for spring — quite the opposite — but he really delivers for the cold-weather months. That became evident as soon as model Freja Beha Erichsen opened his show, staged at the tip of Manhattan inside the American Stock Exchange, in a black-and-gray plaid wool melton cape coat and matching plaid weekender tote, which felt at home on the cozy set. For the Michael Kors Collection Fall/Winter 2020 runway show, the designer transformed the iconic location into into a dimly lit “abstract country house” complete with oversized windows, a shiplap runway, and a stage for rising country music star Orville Peck. Peck opened up with "Dead of Night," a drawling ballad, eventually closing with a poignant cover of "I Will Always Love You." A hot toddy wouldn't have felt out of place.
Guests were met with show notes at their seats that explained the collection in a stream of sartorial consciousness: “Cozy glamour...Town and country...Relaxed chic with an urban sense of polish...Style that stands the test of time...The big easy...Languid silhouettes and longer lengths...Hoods, cowls, and high necklines with an air of privacy.” Front row guests included Blake Lively, Rachel Zoe, and Issa Rae.
That all came through in the equestrian-inspired collection, which was filled with tailored suiting separates, chunky scarves, and oversized wool sweaters that look warm enough to make you want to forgo a coat. A few highlights include Kaia's double-faced cashmere angora-blend hooded cape, a nod to the iconic look Naomi Campbell wore during his Fall/Winter 1999 show, as well as Bella's pleated black sequin V-neck dress. Freja Beha's closing look, another double-faced wool cape (this time in menswear-gray) paired with a sequined fishtail maxi skirt, felt like classic Kors: at once sophisticated and opulent.
As it turns out, the designer was just building a proper weekend wardrobe — especially if said weekend involves a trip to the stable. “I think we can all relate to feeling a little too plugged in sometimes,” Kors said in a release. “This collection explores that idea of getting away from it all, of taking some time to escape into nature and refuel. And of course, since we can’t all move to the countryside, we looked at how you can take that feeling of privacy and coziness and imbue it with the polish and luxury you need in an urban environment.”
The show took on a different vibe than in seasons past: Last season, Kors took us to '70s-era Studio 54, and for Fall 2019, the designer surprised guests with an impromptu Barry Manilow concert, complete with Bella and Gigi Hadid as his on-stage back-up singers. That said, this was still a celebration of sorts: But this time, instead of going out on the town, the celebration looks a little more like getting out of dodge just to kick back.