Drawing Creativity From a Crisis

For Michael Kors, fashion's current '80s revival is all about confidence. "Let's face it: we all could use a little right about now," he told me recently, explaining the inspiration behind the sharp-shouldered suits he showed for fall. "A structured jacket gives you confidence. It gives you posture." What is it about economic uncertainty that always seems to inspire fashion types to ransack the decade of excess—from the serious power suits of Working Girl to the Lycra look of Spandau Ballet--style club kids? This is no time to get nostalgic, though. The most creative people find opportunity in crisis. And this...

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