Michael Kors is not one to deviate from his message. On a blustery day in New York, at the launch event for his new collection of fragrances, makeup and body products, the award-winning American designer refuses to bow to the inclement weather, wearing white jeans and no socks with his loafers. “I always think the most fabulous thing is to look like you are either just arriving from a vacation or leaving for a vacation,” he says as explanation. If you know the Michael Kors brand (which everyone, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Michelle Obama to the legions of women who shop in his 400 stores in 89 countries, is familiar with), this mindset is easily apparent in his relaxed, sexy approach to design.
Kors is a master at touting the “more is more” aesthetic while keeping it covetable, not caricaturish. True to form, the beauty ideas he pulls out of his (undoubtedly plush cashmere) hat are as OTT as they are functional: multi-textured colour-saturated lipsticks, gargantuan bronzers housed in gleaming gold cases and a shiny jar of tiny scented bath beads that dissolve to leave a veil of gold on top of the water. In creating this 25-piece collection, Kors decided to focus on the three distinct moods that dictate his thought process every season: sporty, sexy and glamorous. “Sometimes your mood shifts and you feel a little more outlandish; sometimes it’s more laid-back—and sometimes it’s more provocative,” he says. “We have clothing to reflect that; I wanted to do something that expresses those moods with a wardrobe of beauty and scent.” Note: Helicopter not included.
The Michael Kors guide to a beautiful life on the next page…
1. Inspiration is everywhere, even in bad hot pants
“I’m a pop-culture junkie. I’m always curious to see what’s going on—and sometimes I see things that are terrible! Then I think, ‘How can we twist that and make it fabulous?’ Take girls in hot pants that are too tight and too short. I say, ‘Wait a minute—there’s got to be a way to do shorts at night that don’t look vulgar and let you actually bend, dance and move.’ Or bad sweatsuits in the airport: ‘How can we find a way to give people comfort but still look polished?’ It’s the same thing with beauty—people are willing to experiment with their nails. How can I get them to experiment with their lips?”
2. Runway beauty? Keep it covetable.
“She’s always got a sense of well-being and happiness. I never want to turn her into some bizarre space alien. There shouldn’t be a warning saying ‘Don’t try this at home.’ I think that you should try it at home! A fashion show tells a story and—to a certain degree—is meant to be entertaining. But I also want to offer women answers.”
3. Don’t be predictable, be kick-ass confident
“There’s a contradiction in everything I do. I like the most glamorous thing to have a sense of casualness; I like that balance. Can the sporty go to black-tie? Can the sexy go to the gym? It seems old-fashioned to be pigeonholed into one thing. I think what we do in fashion, beauty and fragrance is take people who are not that confident and make them feel more confident. And if you are confident, we make you über-confident. Why not have true bravado?"
4. Girls should just want to have fun
“I believe that glamour and sex appeal can still have an optimism to them—something upbeat. I hate the idea that if you’re chic and glamorous, you have to be sad.”
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