Some fashion dinners aim to impress with fine china, crisp white tablecloths and fussy cuisine better suited for Instagramming than eating. Not so for Michael Kors. He prefers a juicy mountain of ground sirloin covered in gooey cheese and wedged between two carb-happy hamburger buns served to a room filled with friends.
Oh, don’t forget the French fries. And save room for dessert. And, really, can you blame him?
On Wednesday night, Mr. Kors closed out New York Fashion Week on a relaxed, crowd-pleasing note with a low-key familial dinner at the Greenwich Village outpost of JG Melon, the pub known for its rustic, tasty bar food. “This is one of my favorite restaurants,” he said. “I love casual. I grew up with JG Melon uptown, but I’m a Village boy so when they opened down here, I was like, ‘This is the new canteen.’”
The designer also used the occasion to celebrate a collaboration with the artist and illustrator David Downton, which debuted earlier that day during Mr. Kors’s runway show at Lincoln Center, an eclectic collection of clashing tartans, florals, animal prints and camouflage, meant to reflect the mixed-up, anything-goes way women dress today.
Mr. Downton’s elegant sketches of glamorous women decorated dresses, a coat and some ladylike handbags. “When I was a kid, growing up, I worshiped all the illustrators,” Mr. Kors said. “What I love about David’s work is he really captures the essence of people, but these aren’t photographs. There’s something about them that captures a mood and a spirit.”
During his toast Mr. Downton drolly downplayed his role in the partnership. “Michael calls this a collaboration, which I love, but this was the easiest thing I’ve done in my life,” he said. “Michael knows what he wants and how to give direction. When you have that, it’s simple.”
Among the guests were the models Jourdan Dunn, Alek Wek and Sabina Karlsson; the fashion flâneur Derek Blasberg; the cosmetics heiress Aerin Lauder and the actress Cush Jumbo. Nina Garcia, the newly installed editor of Elle, was seated across from Mr. Kors at a long table covered in green-and-white-checkered tablecloths, Mason jars filled with red roses, and votive candles that gave the room a warm, flickering glow. The two have history as former judges on “Project Runway,” and also through the bonds that come with lasting careers in the ever-changing fashion industry.