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Michael Kors' Spring Collection Slammed by Critics; 'Hillbillies on Safari,' One Writes

The "Project Runway" judge's safari-themed collection featured a bathing suit with python belt, sarongs for men and bags made out of crocodile skin.
Scott Wintrow/Getty Images

What would Nina Garcia say?

Project Runway judge Michael Kors failed to wow some fashion critics with his spring 2012 collection, which debuted Wednesday at New York's Fashion Week.

The safari-themed collection relied heavily on animal prints and featured such pieces as a bathing suit adorned with a python belt and straps, tie-dyed baggy trousers, sarongs for men and bags made out of crocodile skin, snake and leather.

Kors told the Associated Press that the collection was inspired his three safari trips to Africa.

Of the garments, New York Times style critic Cathy Horyn tweeted, "Michael Kors: a festival or Braveheart without the tartan?"

Her colleague, Eric Wilson, was even more blunt: "The collection looked more like hillbillies on safari. The clothes he showed, on a runway covered in burlap, were torn and ripped, sewn in crude patchworks, or just dirty looking. His cashmere sweaters had holes in them. There were a lot of animal prints on shifts and a trench and, curiously, a shoe that could be described as an open-toe desert boot."

Hadley Freeman of the U.K.'s Guardian praised Kors for typically designing clothes with his customer in mind rather than trying to create something that would look edgy in a fashion shoot.

"But Wednesday's show, which took the eternally popular and eternally misguided theme of 'safari,' looked like something designed solely for a magazine fashion shoot in Africa, probably starring Angelina Jolie lounging decorously on a designer handbag while gazing soulfully at some noble tribesmen," Freeman wrote.

Amy Odell of New York Magazine was more diplomatic in her assessment of the collection.

"The show was interesting for Kors, who is so often clean and polished in his runway collections, because the models came onto the runway actually looking a bit soiled and sweaty, in a different (but not dissimilar) way to the preferred unshowered look of those hipster-tastic shows in the previous decade -- before minimalism, color-blocking, and dressing up became the things to do with clothes," she wrote.

Meanwhile, Christina Binkley of the Wall Street Journal noted that the collection isn't for everyone.

"It was extreme -- don't look to his runway for that elegant mother-of-the-bride gown -- but Mr. Kors' empire has grown, like Ralph Lauren's, to the point where his shows set a tempo rather than attempting to display a season's offerings," she wrote.

And Tiffany Yannetta of the style blog Racked noted that there were a few stand-out pieces, including a deep-V leopard print dress.

Still, "other pieces stood out for different reasons, like a turtleneck sweater that had tears in it and a poncho that looked pretty dirty," she wrote.

Meanwhile, lifestyle site FabSugar seemed to approve.

"Turning away from the more urban look of Fall '11, there is an effortlessness to his new collection, like wearing a boyfriend tee as a dress," according to the post.

What do you think?

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