Michael’s program notes cited “Love Stores…a blend of the romantic elegance of Gatsby mixed with the collegiate chic of the Graduate and Love Story…Love American Style….” Well, it is almost Valentine’s day, after all. But Michael, how many times can you channel Ali McGraw with her knitted caps and elongated striped scarves? The large collection of women wear and menswear, rendered in traditionally fall like colors (navy, cordovan, camel, black, loden and charcoal) and patterns (rugby stripes, hunting plaids, blanket plaids tartans, tweeds, and paisleys) had a relaxed, easy, informal vibe, rather than one that felt typically ‘urbane’ and uptight. Many of the outfits featured indigo stretch denim jeans. There was an emphasis on updated familiar classics like pea coats, duffle coats, and knitwear, and the silhouette was predominantly long, loose, and easy (shades of grunge?) Many of the coats, skirts, and dresses practically skimmed the floor and elongated scarves and knitted caps added to the long silhouette, although it’s never just about one thing, and short lengths were offered as well. It’s always about options and choices. While the collection had noteworthy pieces, I just couldn’t help but feel that Michael should ‘push the envelope’ a bit more than he does in terms of design. He’s been doing this for such a long time, his collections have become a bit formulaic and predictable.
That said, standouts include the elongated navy cashmere sweater coat worn
over a silk georgette foulard tunic and indigo stretch denim jeans; the
charcoal cashmere pullover worn with a plaid double face bias cut floor
length skirt; the navy and white tie dye pea coat worn over a navy sweater,
uneven hemmed chiffon skirt and high heeled leather boots (which was an
inspired ‘take’ on a classic, and precisely the kind of thing Michael should
have expounded on in his collection). For evening, it was all about black
enlivened with crystal beads: there was an elongated black cashmere cardigan
worn with a black and silver pailette long pleated skirt, and a beautiful
black silk chiffon halter gown geometrically sprayed with crystals.