- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Kors was California Dreamin’ on Wednesday, displaying a fall collection inspired by the left coast, and it was hard not to think that the Mamas and the Papas, featured on the soundtrack, were absolutely right when they sang: “I’d be safe and warm if I was in LA.”

But alas, all the guests at the show were bundled up for winter and gearing for a predicted storm on Thursday, which threatened to wreak havoc on the final day of Fashion Week. At least they had some A-list celebrities to look at: Michael Douglas, Blake Lively, Rose Byrne and Freida Pinto all came to pay their respects to one of the most successful designers in the business.

And they had the clothes to look at: Big, soft sweaters of every kind, and lots of wool, cashmere, alpaca, shearling, mohair, flannel and fur.

Kors‘ inspiration for the collection was actually Big Sur, not Los Angeles, and the clothes were definitely more northern California than southern, especially the fringed skirts, which had a hippie vibe. There were also long ‘70s-inspired dresses with a laid-back feel.

Kors, who’s been in the headlines recently for being one of fashion’s newest billionaires, said in a pre-show interview that he was designing clothes for active, every day wear rather than special occasions.

“You know nothing bothers me more than someone buying something magnificent and someone wearing it once,” he said. He’d much rather have someone buy a coat, he said, “that you really actually want to live in and not just save for a special occasion.”

He described his collection as “a hybrid - a little bit of the kind of easiness that you find in northern California in places like Big Sur where you just kind of … unplug, mixed with something that’s very polished and urbane and very big city.”

Kors is popular on the red carpet, but he said he never knows exactly who he’s dressing. But he said he’d love to dress Cate Blanchett, favored this year for best actress for “Blue Jasmine.”

“Through the whole season she’s just consistently chic and elegant and right for her,” he said. “If you know yourself well you’ll always look amazing.”

He also had high praise for Sandra Bullock, nominated for “Gravity.”

“Sandra Bullock, my God, bravo, hello! You know I think between Sandra and Mrs. Obama they’ve convinced every woman that life in fashion is definitely not over once you pass 45.”

Actress Lively wore Kors, of course, to watch the show. “There were so many to choose from,” she said. “I literally said, ‘Michael, would it be OK if I walked in in one outfit, then wore a different outfit for the show and then left’ because there were too many favorites that I had - but I realized I wasn’t hosting the Oscars so I really couldn’t do that.”

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