Gatsby inspires Kors to deliver modern classics

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With a celebrity packed front row and clean-cut American fashion on his catwalk, Michael Kors covered all the bases at his autumn/winter show yesterday in the New York fashion week tents at Bryant Park.

It often seems as if an audience cramped with starlets is the prerequisite for any fashion show held in this city, and with a gaggle of paparazzi-friendly guests including Heidi Klum, Debra Messing, Nicole Richie and Ivanka Trump in attendance, Kors delivered on that part of his brief.

His latest collection was a rendition of the classics of American fashion: preppy looks such as a shirt dress with rugby-shirt stripes in brown and navy, or flapper-style dresses in camel-coloured silk or moss-green tartan, inspired by The Great Gatsby. Nothing new, then, but the show's sunny disposition and clever blending of textures - a structured navy peacoat worn with a light-weight silk kilt - prevented it from falling into banality.

Ease and simplicity comes naturally to Kors. His cheery models, wearing T-bar sandals, knitted cloche hats, knee-high socks and trailing striped knitted scarves, might have resembled the carefree college girls seen on Burberry's catwalks in past seasons, but he also managed to fall in line with the new autumn/winter trends. His subdued colours in particular - loden green, earthy coloured tartans and paisleys - chimed with the trend for pleasantly dreary shades.

But there are ranks of younger designers jostling for space on this season's schedule. Their youth, however, doesn't necessarily mean they are more inclined to rebel, shock or even innovate. Peter Som, 32, a protégé of American Vogue's editor Anna Wintour, is one such designer. The pinafore-style puffball dresses and dove-grey cocktail frocks with large bows tied at the neck that appeared in his very prim and proper show yesterday will probably appeal to the so-called Park Avenue princesses. Unless, that is, they prefer to shop at Chloe or Rochas, who have already explored that look.