Michael Kors

Designer

| London

When we hear the words, “jet set,” several things come to mind: beautiful people, yachts and sports cars, and Michael Kors. After all, the New York designer is nothing if not king of his self-proclaimed favorite season, “resort.” Fashion’s proverbial answer to vacation wear, resort collections are usually a smattering of breezy separates and slip-ons (things that pack easily and work day or night), but Kors’ line-ups are perennially a cut above— take his most recent presentation for Resort ’18 where subsaharan florals mixed with tassel sandals, earthy beads and a jet black, cut-out dress that was part-swimwear, part-evening, and yet, somehow both?!? (BTW, whereas most designers stick to studio visits over shows or presentations for resort collections, Kors presented his most recent inside NYC’s The Whitney Museum… we told ‘ya he was king.) Of course, his own life must be a constant source of inspiration— from Bora Bora to Korea, China, and now, London, Kors is rarely not traveling. Just last week, he hopped across the pond to celebrate Tatler’s “English Roses,” a gallery exhibition he dreamt up with the mag to showcase young, creative talent in the UK (his aforementioned Korea and China trips were for similar events). After a VIP-studded opening night at Chelsea’s Saatchi Gallery, we couldn’t help but prod Kors for the inside scoop on one of his favorite cities. Here, Kors sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his little black book on London.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: I love to have a quick lunch upstairs at The Royal Oak (MAP IT). The food is clean and fresh—it’s not greasy pub food—but, downstairs it’s this fabulous old British pub. It instantly puts you in a London frame of mind. 

COFFEE OR TEA: Normally, I am iced tea obsessed— there’s always a cup in my hand when I’m working in New York— but when I’m in London, I’ll indulge in afternoon tea at Claridge’s (MAP IT). Their scones are out of this world.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Rules (MAP IT)— it’s right in the Theatre District so we usually go before or after a show. It’s been around since the 1700s so when you step inside, it’s like you’re Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, and they have the best roast beef and Yorkshire pudding… when else are you going to eat Yorkshire pudding if not in London?

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Ketel One on the rocks. The bar at The Ivy (MAP IT) is a scene all on its own and a great place for a drink before a show.

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: For antiques, go to Alfies Antique Market (MAP IT). From furniture to jewelry to flapper dresses, this place literally has it all, plus there’s also a little rooftop café where you can rest after you’ve finished shopping and check out the view of London’s chimney pots. Also, I’m obsessed with vintage luggage, so I always stop at Bentleys on Walton Street (MAP IT) when I’m in town. I love that idea that something can be beautiful and utilitarian. And of course, Hyde Park is no secret, but if you go, be sure to save time to take in the Diana Memorial Fountain— it’s the best part.

WHERE TO STAY: I always stay at Claridge’s— it’s one of those rare places on the planet where they’ve held on to the history and the tradition of the space, but modernized it enough so that it functions in today’s world. It has the perfect service and the location is spectacular (everything is at your doorstep). Also, the Art Deco bathrooms are fabulous—they have the greatest water pressure of any hotel in the world (I mean the shower is like being under Niagara Falls.)

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: The best people watching in London is on Regent Street. You can walk down one stretch and see everyone from East End hipsters to the glamour crowd, all expressing their own individual style.

HEALTHY STAPLE: The River Café (MAP IT). If you’re there on a sunny day, nothing beats eating lunch outside, and it has the most perfect Italian food outside of Italy (clean, fresh and light). They treat the food like a good piece of fabric— it doesn’t need to be played with too much; it’s just simple. We even had an amazing dinner party here after our Regent Street flagship launch event last year!

GUILTY PLEASURE: Cod and chips at Sea Shell of Lisson Grove (MAP IT). Their homemade tartar sauce is out of this world.

CLOSET CHECK: I’ve developed a fashion uniform over the years that takes me everywhere I need to go: dark jeans or khaki cargos, sneakers, a black tee or cashmere knit, a watch and aviators. For one-of-a-kind finds in London, I’m obsessed with William Vintage (MAP IT)— he has the most impeccable taste and everything in his store is really edited and beautiful. It’s perfect for any real couture and real vintage connoisseur.

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS: For London, I’ll pack a black cashmere crew neck knit, black tee shirts, dark denim, custom New Balance sneakers, driving loafers, a black blazer and a silver Michael Kors watch. Of course, I’ll also have a few pairs of aviators with me for the trip. And I like bringing a Jasmin or Baies Diptyque candle to make the hotel feel like home. 

BEST GIFTS: Nothing beats heading over to Fortnum & Mason (MAP IT) and filling a basket with lots of condiments to bring back as gifts. I think no one has better condiments than the English—they’re condiment-obsessed. Fortum & Mason has everything from the best horseradish sauce to the best chutney. Gifts are inexpensive, fun and the best in the world.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Sexy Fish (MAP IT). It’s an art gallery and a restaurant combined, and there’s no shortage of glamour.

TO RELAX AND UNWIND: I love getting a massage at Aman Spa in The Connaught Hotel (MAP IT). It’s amazingly tranquil for being in the middle of a bustling city.

ULTIMATE LONDON MOMENT: Spending a Sunday at the Flower Market on Columbia Road in the East End (MAP IT) is, for me, a quintessentially British experience. It makes you feel like you’ve stepped into My Fair Lady and Eliza Doolittle might be just around the corner. CP

Michael’s London

From L to R: First Row: Claridge’s; Bites at The River Café; Blooms from Columbia Street Flower Market; Alfies Antique Market. Second Row: Drinks at Rules; Vintage luggage from Bentleys; Home décor at Alfies Antique Market; just off Hyde Park.

Shop

Street Talkerinstagram