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Judging the Judges: Michael Kors Fall 2008 Collection

The Duchess, of course, showed his collection last week in Bryant Park and we, of course, have opinions.

But not particularly strong ones. It is, as always, a solid collection of classic looks from Miss Kors. Showcasing what he calls "simple glamour," the collection hearkens back to Hitchcock movie vixens in floral day dresses or pencil skirts and Mad Men-esque Camelot-era ad execs with skinny pants and fedoras, all rendered in purples and yellows and neutrals. He's basically making his mother's old clothes. He claims there's a little of Amy Winehouse in there but frankly, we don't see it.

It's a little more lush and upscale-looking than normal but for the most part it is as it always was with Michael. He's not reinventing the wheel but he does make the wheel look pretty good.

You can watch the show here:

And hear Miss Kors discuss her collection here:

[Photos: WireImage/GettyImages - Videos: MBFWNewYork/]

If I had the shoulders to carry off that slim, tapered silhouette, I would absolutely wear the Duchess's menswear from this collection to the office.

I love love love this collection. I want every single one of those outfits (men's and women's).

It's all so very 1963 that, when the phone rings, I just might get under my desk and wait for the Russians to attack.

I do agree with Miss Kors about babydoll dresses. I do hope they are gone for good. And BTW, I love that sparkly purple cocktail dress.

But I get the feeling that what this collection really is, is from memories he has of being in his pajamas, watching his mom & dad get ready for a night out.


Love. Love. Love.

I would wear every inch of that collection, and force my man to wear the men's line.

Classic. Mature. Unexpected colors for fall.

I don't see Amy Winehouse in the collection either. He's really smitten with her, isn't he?

Ever notice how good the Duchess looks while on the runway? Happy, satisfied, totally in her element.

That's a lot of fur....was it real? (I would think not, since PETA was reportedly protesting in the area, and none of the models are spattered with fake blood)

He has fun, doesn't he?

I do love the longer hemlength trend, for which I've coined the term: The New Dowdy. It's good.

Love the whole collection, I would happily dress like it is 1963 again in a heartbeat....and since vintage is my bread and butter I'm always happy to see vintage (but updated) looks come down a runway.
Yummy colors and fabrics too.

Aren't these Sweet P's colors? LOL!

Inspired. Gorgeous. Yummy.

All so very 1963 indeed ... and that's a bad thing?

Wait, what decade are we in? Looked like an episode from mAd Men, sans cigarettes.

Oh my god I love his collection. So glamorous, so sophisticated. The best I've seen by MK in a long time.

I love the two floral sheath dresses, one purple/gold floral with the cross over drape at the bust and the gold/brown floral with the swag at the hip.
I wonder how it would look in blue/green?....

I'm a fan. I literally have a Kloset O' Kors. Love that champagne gown...
only thing is that chartreuse makes me look that color.

I do love it. But I've always had a bit of a hard on for early 60s glam. Not a fan of that purple and green print, though. It irks in the way that Lucien's (from PRC) did. It's the oogy part of the era. Let's let that go, along with Cream of Mushroom soup.

What's great about both pencil skirts and the post-Dior day dresses is that almost all bodies look good in them. Most ages, too, at least up to a point....

I can't believe that the person who designed this (gorgeous) collection voted for Jeffrey Sebelia.

When you see his stuff in the store, you can tell from 20 feet away that the fabric will feel (and look) interesting. And the details are also frequently interesting when you get up close. He's got a lush look down pat.

I just wish he'd use a bit more color than jockey tan and black. Like, try a Uli/Miami chiffon in lime green some time, Michael.

Miss Kors needs a shave - not a good look! We are so used to seeing him so clean and polished. Tacky, tacky, tacky!

Miss Kors needs a shave - not a good look! We are so used to seeing him so clean and polished. Tacky, tacky, tacky!

I see Laura Bennett, I see Uli,
I see Christian, I see Chris M.

I don't see Amy

I still say LB is better than MK.

Gorgeous! I'd wear everything!

Did he and Sweet P design together?

So are the big black dorky glasses back in? If so, I can't wait to buy a pair.

I like the collection, especially the prints. But I would raise the hemlines on a lot of those dresses. I agree with Gotham Tomato that it looks like memories of a kid in the 60s watching Mom and Dad get ready for a big night out.

Nope, don't see the Winehouse either.

oh my god, it's completely my ultimate fantasy collection!! all of the women's looks are to die for! bravo duchess, bra-vo!!!

Very nice indeed. It would be awesome if we could go back to those days when everyone dressed up where ever they went. All people tried to look their best when they went out. Nowdays everyone looks like crap, especially the women. No one takes pride in their looks and dresses to impress. They all look like slobs.

One thing I like about Kors' shows is how they flow, from one piece to the next. I never get that "What the FUCK!??!" jarring sensation that I often feel when watching other designer's shows when a look comes on the runway that just doesn't fit in.

That said, are we back in the 60s? If so, it feels to me as though he picked some of the better influences from that decade and made them very sleek. I don't see a ton of innovation here, but I see a lot of clothes I would love to be able to afford (and to fit into!).

anonymous 1:50 -

If that's not real fur, it's a damn fine imitation.

[adding] - I just checked out some of the reviews. It's real.

Interesting that a couple of reviewers had the same thought: Grace Kelly.

"All so very 1963 indeed ... and that's a bad thing?"

Is it? I thought it was lovely (except for the big prints).


I like it. But I am positive he discovered on old wardrobe trunk on Ebay. From the set of Bewitched. I see Darrin and Samantha in every one of those photos.

Well, I like it, but glamorous vintage is one of my favorite trends. It can't resurface often enough for me. :-) Love the purples and lavenders/lilacs, love the fur, love the body-conscious dresses, not crazy about the prints (a little too sofa-esque). I, personally, don't wear brown, but I like the way it looks in its various incarnations in this collection.

All in all...very pretty. The Duchess could do worse.

The Amy Winehouse reference must be in the hairstyles. Whoopee.

mom in a minivan

My first grade teacher,
who was very, very glam
in my six year old view,
dressed like this.
Yes, 1963, that long ago.
I do like the collection.

Much better than I've seen from the angry orange lately. Love the purple!

I'm with Bill on the men's silhouettes, except that while I do have the shoulders to carry it off, the back 40 can't be stuffed into that sausage casing.

It just reminds me how nice the clothes look when you have real professional seamstresses making them and not the designer.

I also wonder how much of this stuff was actually "designed" by L'orange himself. Probably none of it. He just sent a memo saying: early '60's: go! to his minions. This is just a very different process from what our PR designers are going through.

Does he think no one will remember these clothes?

I owned the champagne dress !!!

Did he copy Sweet P's colors?

man, I love chartreuse and it's a color I look great in. is it fall yet ;-)

Gotham Tomato said: "Is it? I thought it was lovely (except for the big prints)."

Honey, sweetie, darling .... It's often impossible to discerne what you mean.

For $100, do the following three statements convey an opinion, (favorable or unfavorable), of the Michael Kors collection, or are they more akin to random, stream of conciousness inanities:

a) when the phone rings you hide under your desk;

b) You don't like babydoll dresses, however, you do like purple sparkles;

c) Michael Kors remembers his mom and dad going out in the evening;

Hard to tell that you "thought it was lovely ... except for the big prints."

Snuggle Monster

I think is HYSTERICAL that Michael Kors and Sweet Pea are on the same page.


I agree with the poster who said that people should go back to dressing up all the time instead of looking like slobs where ever they go.

Too many women these days never fix their hair, or makeup. They don't dress in nice clothes, just sweats, jeans and hoodies. Most of them just end up looking like lazy lesbians. Wake up women! Be women again and the men will appreciate it.

Yikes, that first menswear look is a little "DTM." Physician, heal thyself.

(Liked the rest of the collection though.)

I swoon for the lavender. It's such a gorgeous infusion, rather than a jolt, of color. Love it.

And I could see Ms. Rehab in one dress -- the floral with the sweetheart neckline early on in the collection.

But sign me up for the Death to the Baby Doll Silhouette Train, even if MK is the conductor. I am so over it.

Overall, I really like it.

HATE HATE HATE the ugly glasses on all the men, though.

And would it KILL them to put socks on? I'm so over seeing dress shoes and bare skin.

Seems to me the Duchess stole a certain little princess' glasses and applied them to each of his Clark Kents.

Simple, classic...nothing too out there. Very marketable, but would it make it through to the end on PR?

I can't be objective about a collection that features fur regardless of the designer. I understand there are different points of view about it, but as soon as I saw all that real fur it was over for me. And the duchess considers his collection to be eco-fashion? Oh, please. It may be fashion, but fur is only eco if it's left on the animal to whom it belongs.

I'll jump off my soapbox now. Hope I don't break a toe.

Reading comprehension: It's a wonderful thing.


I love these clothes as well, but every time I see MK's stuff I wonder what Nina would say to him if he were a contestant on Project Runway. I get the feeling she would label it "boring."

What? I don't see any rehab in this. Well, there might be a tad of Amy Winehouse in that faux-grunge plaid number, but not much.

I love how simple the lines are in his collections.

And yes, I agree. I think men and women and teens and kids should dress better than they do. You don't have to spend a lot. But you do have buy clothes that fit well. And it helps to amass a collection of great accessories.

Beautiful collection. I'm glad to see the 1962 inspiration.

Youth retro fashion drew on the late 60s, then the 70s, now the 80s, and I could not bear the thought of going into the style-less grunge era again so soon.

Fabulous collection! Thanks, guys.


Having a point and making it: AN EVEN BETTER THING!

So glad so many of the designers are using purple/aubergine this fall. It's truly my fave color.

I love, love, triple love this collection. Ralph Lauren and MK can fill my closets for this fall and I'd die a happy woman. I want that shawl collar swing fur coat and the dress under it. The black and leopard RL bag will look just lovely with it as well.

I'm saving my pennies now.

Mariana (The Unoriginal)

"Anonymous said...


Having a point and making it: AN EVEN BETTER THING!"

My old are you people? 10?
Can we discuss the show, the collections, the designers here?

Why doesn't Nina have on any makeup? Is she trying to rock the Vera Wang look?

I know this show was in the morning but come on, was the baby up all night? Chica, please, a little mascara never hurt anyone.

Doesn't L'orange (loved that!) always harp on the sexy secretary look whenever it comes down the runway during PR? Seems like that was what he was channeling to me, definitely not Amy Winehouse. I think he's just trying to establish some cred with those crazy kids of today. Give it up Michael, you're almost 50 and they aren't your audience anyway. Having grouched about the Duchess, I did like the collection, just not his attributions.

Well, I see a few things on his site that I want to buy.

This means a trip over to Needless or Bloomingbutts to try them on. I'd go to Nordies, but as much as I like the service, I have to say that walking into there puts me into a state of sleep.

Loved it! I would wear all of it.. well, except for the men's clothes and the leopard leggings. Loved, loved, loved. Duchess FTW! Can he vote for himself?

Duck and Cover 2008, LOL.

You know, vintage dress patterns get snapped up pretty quickly on Ebay....
I think I know who's been stocking up.

Didn't love some of the colors or the prints, but eminently wearable.

>>They don't dress in nice clothes, just sweats, jeans and hoodies. Most of them just end up looking like lazy lesbians. Wake up women! Be women again and the men will appreciate it.<<

Sorry, just couldn't let that go. I'm on board with the whole grown-ups should dress like grown-ups and I when I'm Queen of the World adults who insist on wearing Disney sweatshirts will also have to wear light-up sneakers and pull-ups...however...1) what's with the gay-bashing, pal? 2) maybe...just MAYbe, sometime we womenfolk dress for comfort rather than to attract a shallow mate. 3) jeans don't make us grow penises (penii?). One can still dress well and wear jeans.

Sorry. Got me dander up.

LOL-I am gay, so I can talk about lesbians. It like how black people can say the n word to one another. Silly rabbit.

That purple and chartreuse floral is verrry reminiscent of the floral gown of Laura B's that didn't make the final cut for her runway collection

another laura

Wearing pencil skirts ending at mid-calf is going to make me unhappy. I prefer freedom of leg movement. But sigh, they do look good on those leggy models.

I'm more about the brown print dress and that leopard print coat with layered skirt - that outfit is yummy!

Can I betray my ignorance, here? Who is the typical MK buyer? I'm *guessing* folks in their 30's-40's, posh suburb or second-tier city center dwellers, maybe riding lesson moms rather than affluent soccer moms?

Pssst.... Gotham Tomato, I think...I think it's in love with you.

Just chiming in on the "wish people dressed up more" sentiments. I see people at church who look like they just came from the ballpark, and people at the symphony who look like they just came from a yard sale.

Yeesh. Would it kill them to leave the jeans and T-shirts at home?

And great accessories are always the way to go, especially since you can find such fabulous vintage stuff for mere pennies on Ebay. I have a particular weakness for hats and sterling brooches, myself. :-)

"Sewing Siren said...
Pssst.... Gotham Tomato, I think...I think it's in love with you."

LOL. Well, who can blame it?

It reminds me of that another nostalgic fad from the 60's: Norfin dolls.


I would love to have Duchess L'Orange pick any one outfit he showed, stand on the runway at Parsons with his model and have the PR designers critique HIS work for a change. I'd pay cash money to witness that.

Why is it that the news media collectively see anything from the 50's or 60's and immediately make a 'Grace Kelly' reference? It's like they are all reading from the same damn script. The vibe I got was more Rob and Laura Petrie, Burghers of New Rochelle, circa 1965 (the Dick Van Dyke show for all you twenty-somethings out there.)

Oh Rooooobbbbbb!

Does anyone happen to know what the music is in the Michael Kors youtube video TLo used? The clip doesn't say and I don't really want to open an account just to ask the person who made it. I figured someone here might know. Thanks.

gimme Tim's Gunn

This collection rocks. I could clear out my closet for every piece of the men's collection in a heartbeat. Finally, someone is designing clothes that are age-appropriate and fashion forward for the need I say... over 40 set. This is one of the biggest problems I have in finding new clothes. I think it is a niche market that has really been left untapped. The later baby boomers are still hip and young at heart and want to show it off without having to schlep around in a pair of cargo shorts, long jeans, or flip flops. BTW, maybe you guys are a little heavy on the "Miss" Kors bit. A "duchess" here and there is all good and fun once in a while...that unless she doesn't mind it. Bravo Mr. Kors!

Wow! What a difference from the meh that the PR contestants sent down. Minus a few select pieces the final 5 did.

Mz. Kors you really know how to make a dame, a diva, with your clothes.

Agreed-- great looking collection.

But jeez, Michael-- doncha own a collared shirt? The black T/ black jacket thing makes you look like a palooka from Lon Guyland...

"GothamTomato said...

"Sewing Siren said...
Pssst.... Gotham Tomato, I think...I think it's in love with you."

LOL. Well, who can blame it?

It reminds me of that another nostalgic fad from the 60's: Norfin dolls."

LOL... I took mine for show-and-tell in 1st grade!

God, this blog is better than therapy.

All those vomit-like shades, combined with the fur, makes me nauseated.

But I get the feeling that what this collection really is, is from memories he has of being in his pajamas, watching his mom & dad get ready for a night out.


I agree, GT! However, I pretty much love the clean lines, colors, and cut of every one of these. I like this so much better than the Duchess' Spring line, which was filled with Resort/Cruise wear. I should look so chic when I go to work or out for drinks!


I can't believe Michael Kors is still using real animal fur in this day and age. We're not cavepeople. The collection is nice, but the fur just completely screws it up. Tim Gunn endorses compassionate fabric materials. Why doesn't Michael Kors?

But I get the feeling that what this collection really is, is from memories he has of being in his pajamas, watching his mom & dad get ready for a night out.


I agree, GT! However, I pretty much love the clean lines, colors, and cut of every one of these. I like this so much better than the Duchess' Spring line, which was filled with Resort/Cruise wear. I should look so chic when I go to work or out for drinks!


Who is the typical MK buyer?

Hard to generalize because he has different lines. I'd guess the Michael Kors line is probably women in their 30's to 60's, with money, most likely a college education (if we're finding a demographic here), a couple of kids, and a career or a mini-job.

KORS and MICHAEL lines are more mass market. A younger woman, 20's - 40's, probably with less money, and maybe just starting their career, or perhaps in a less well-paying one. Believe it or not, you can find plenty of MICHAEL (as well as some pieces of Kors) at TJ Max.

However, (and I think it's quite sad), the common denominator seems to be either a pair of MK sunglasses or handbag. Women will often buy those, forgo buying well fitted clothes.

Once I saw a woman in a tacky dress with her boobs hanging out, her bra straps showing, her hair a mess and she was more upset because she'd lost her Chanel sunglasses rather than upset about the fact that her clothes were two sizes too small.

I love MK's clothes. They're timeless, they never go out of style.

I really like most of this, except I don't approve of the fur.

I am Miss Michael's demo....over 40, professional woman...that being said, I am only 5'6" tall and those long skirts just don' work on those under 5'8". Too bad as I like the colors and the idea of early Barbie.

gothamtomato -- you got it exactly. MK and I are probably about the same age, (I might be a few years younger, of course), but that is it exactly -- my parents getting dressed up to go out, leaving my sister and me with a babysitter. I loved, loved the women's collection, the men's not as much.

Pure Polish. Beautiful! (that's polish as in sheen vs. the country)

I love this collection, and that's the first time I've loved anything from the Duchess. I especially loved the first print dress.

I don't/won't wear fur but I really like everything in this collection. It has a level of simplicity that fits the times, as Michael noted.

Also, I can really see each of these items modified slightly for the common woman, whatever size she may be. Got to love that. It is versatile.

Hi all...just cracked myself up...was clicking through the pics of the KorsShow.

Pic #12
...the leopard capri-leggings, acid-sweater w/matching reptile belt, faux(?) mink, and metallic 'comehither' pumps.

I could talk about how Michael must be a fan of vintage Mob-flicks, but I'd rather know why the stylist chose to *walk the model without arms.* (?)

(i know, i know, it's so she can easily doff-the-coat and trail it dramatically as she retreats. -- but the initial armless-effect (see the pic)...

made me snicker..check it out. Sal

p.s. overall, at 43, I appreciate the attention to what is classic/iconic...AND the separate pieces which endure trends, but honestly, I feel younger than most of these looks. (they seem as bit dusty to me...I don't want to portray mutton-as-lamb, but I'm still ready to embrace a bit of the edgy or even absurd) I'm not the only 40-something who "stretches the old bones" everyday :)
...tho' I must say, if it inspires the young-set to dress with more polish...and I suspect that's the aim...then it's all good.

i must say... i love this collection.

Have to comment on his remarks about H&M.

I wish I could spend $1500 on a dress, but that's mortgage, bills etc.

So I go to all those stores everyone is supposed to pretend they hate: H&M, accessories from F21, scavenge the racks at Loehmann's, Marshall's and (as mentioned) TJ Maxx. I even love Target. I love thrift shops, estate sales.

I know full well that what I'm getting isn't high end! I don't need to be told that I can't get it at H&M.

Much as Madame L'Orange drives me crazy, I admire the precision in her tailoring. Nothing crappy or wonky looking ever goes down a Kors runway. You may love it, you may hate it, but the tailoring's impeccable.

I'm just grateful for the longer skirts that Kors and a few other designers showed this season. I frelling adored Peter Som's whole collection.

I hope the trend trickles down into cheaper off-the-rack stuff. I am sick to death of pulling something off the rack to find out it's been blinged within an inch of it's life.

I seriously want to beat the shit out of any designer who thinks I want rhinestones on my ass. Seriously, folks STOP IT.

Sweet P's colors - kind of. But Sweet P's chartreuse had this "shocking yellow" note to it that was just horribly clashy.

For Kors' collection, I think the purple plaid had an olivey-chartreuse shade that carried over to the chartreuse seamlessly.

I love Sweet P as a person, but her fabric color matching skills are horrendous. She should hire my mom to pick her fabrics, notions and trims - my mom has a color-matching and color-coordinating eye that's freakishly accurate.


Sweet P needs a co-designer to help her edit. She's done great when she's listened to Tim Gunn's advice.

I thought the women's line was charming. (Would be more appropriate with faux fur, but still lovely.)

Love the ladylike look of the Kors collection.

(Would be more appropriate with faux fur, but still lovely.)

I disagree. Faux fur always looks faux, and ruins the appearance of the garment. Give me the real thing any day. (Not to mention that it's warmer, a not unimportant consideration during a Chicago winter!)

i absolutely love that color green. so rich and lovely.

This collection was featured last night on Full Frontal Fashion, and it looked great on the runway (except for those big prints).

I don't know if that's available in other areas, or if it's just in NYC. But they show virtually all the runway shows from fashion week.


The one-shoudered tweed dress was stunning!!
And while I am very pro-faux, and have never purchased or owned real fur; It must be said that to "go faux" is NOT an eco-friendly option. Don't call the Duchess a liar because she used real fur. Have you considered the environmental impact of the plasticing factories that generate faux fabrics? Using natural fur is the most...natural choice. Don't hate on the cave men, they were much more a part of their natural surroundings than any of us have ever been.

Whew! Just had to get that out!

All in all...L'Orange was impecccable.


I really like the shapes and sihouettes of this collection but nobody would look good in those colors--they are so unflattering!

I know models have a 'walk' but please tell me why they are all leaning to one side so badly it looks like the runway is at an angle?

Also, didn't the Duchess disparage the use of leggings of any type this season? Yet he has them in his collection?

This collection is fabulous. I absolutely love the prints.

Seen it, move on! Truthfully, its not that TLo said, he's not reinventing the wheel.

Please, Please, Please tell me that linebacker shoulder pads are NOT coming back??? If so, I'm moving to Mars.


BIG PRINTS are awesome!

God, if you don't like BIG PRINTS you gotta be retarded.

More BIG PRINTS please.

Once I saw a woman in a tacky dress with her boobs hanging out, her bra straps showing, her hair a mess and she was more upset because she'd lost her Chanel sunglasses rather than upset about the fact that her clothes were two sizes too small.

Of course I don't know what was going on with the woman you're referring to, but I can say from personal experience that if you're not happy with your body, a great pair of sunglasses or shoes make you feel awesome.

STUNNING! Thanks, guys. I love when you guys do the judges!!


"Sophisticated glamor" is the perfect way for Kors to describe this perfectly, perfect collection. LOVED it. LOVE him!

I thought the same thing about him making his mothers' clothes.

Fur is gross. At least cavemen used the entire animal when it was killed.

I love the collection, but I can't support a designer who, in this day and age, still uses real fur.


Everyone complains that nobody dresses up anymore. We all look like slobs.

Everyone complains that nobody dresses their age. Young women struggle not to look frumpy, older women struggle not to look trampy.


In 1963, kids dressed like kids and adults (everyone with a high school diploma) dressed like adults. Both newlyweds and widows looked fashionable. Everyone knew a tailor. Most women made an acquaintence with a sewing machine. The so-called 'generation gap' was brewing, but had not yet manifest. And adults were not forever chasing their youth.


If Michael Kors harkens back to that era, he has my vote.

I love the grandpa/nerd look, so I am all over the plaid pants, cardigans and chunky nerd glasses in the men's collection.

Horrible. Old Fashioned. Boring. My grandma might wear something like this. If a designer on PR put anything like this down the runway they would be vicerated.

BALMAIN for women

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