THE BLOG

Intents: A Season in Search of Its Roots, Or How Sportwear Got Its Groove Back

In times of economic trouble, designers tend to hunker down, search their archives and their DNA, and go back to their heritage. It's what they believe their customers want in uncertain times.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

In times of economic trouble, designers tend to hunker down, search their
archives and their DNA, and go back to their heritage. It's what they
believe their customers want in uncertain times. Sure enough, this week,
two of fashions' brightest stars did just that- and the results in both
cases were wonderful.

The Marc Jacobs show was a trip down memory lane. The show opened with Marc
and his partner Robert Duffy tearing construction paper away from a frame
holding all of their models. The styles on this runway all harkened back to
an earlier, simpler and more sportswear inspired Marc Jacobs. The palette
was a mix of neutral tones, the lines clean. Simple skirts were paired with
tailored jackets, sleek dresses in pane velvet -- the kind of clothes real
girls wear. So real, in fact, that, to drive the point home, two of the
women who work in his office walked the show. Marc's explanation for the
idea behind the show? "There's so much striving for newness now that newness
feel less new."

As if to say "Amen" to all that, along came Michael Kors with a knockout
collection (one of the most beautiful of the week). Michael proclaimed it
was all about ease, relaxed glamour...the quintessential American sportswear
wardrobe...sport chic. And no one in the world does sportswear better than
Michael Kors. The runway was brimming with cocooning camel mohair sweaters,
balmacaan and chesterfield coats and anuraks rejiggered with just enough
newness to keep them fresh. The designer has always been about simple lines
in luxurious fabrics. This season he was all about luscious knits, cashmora
(a cashmere angora blend) and crushed cashmere, new to any runway ever.
There were enough knitted fox collars, oversized shawls, vests and scarves
to keep an Eskimo village toasty. Michael told this reporter that American
sportswear is what we do best. And this was the way most American women want
to dress all the time. Bravo!