03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Michael Kors: It's Appropriate To Look Rich Without Looking Obnoxious

Recession, shmecession. In Michael Kors's opinion the economy shouldn't keep any woman from looking luxurious. In an interview with the Independent UK, the designer explained his obsession with glamour even in the face of the crisis:

"You could say 'but I don't understand, we're in a recession'. The economy isn't at its strongest so why are we so attracted?" he asks. "But if you watch films from the Thirties, it's all Katharine Hepburn as a mad-cap socialite, and the world was in its worst-ever economic state. We're intrigued by young, beautiful people. We might have to get up in the morning, but does Serena [in "Gossip Girl"]? No, she doesn't. And that's intriguing."

He noted he's never had a collection about "poverty deluxe" and that it is appropriate to look rich, if you do it without looking obnoxious:

"It is, if you do it without looking obnoxious," says Kors. "If you're wearing something colourful, keep the line simple. If you're wearing something ornamented, keep the shape sleek. Right now, to have over-the-top hair and a beaded dress and an over-the-top shoe and a lot of jewellery all at once, it's too much."

Perhaps Kors's sense of balance is why his aesthetic has appealed to First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore one of his dresses in her official portrait and has donned the designer's duds on other occasions.

"I was coming out of the theatre," he remembers, "and I turned the Blackberry on and there were about a hundred emails congratulating me on dressing Mrs Obama. We had no idea! She wore" - with a little moue of an aside - "I mean, talk about modern, a black racer-cut matte jersey dress. Some people say she was channelling Jackie O, but Jackie O was never in matte jersey with an athletic cut. This is a very different world."

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