"I think they're beautiful," the designer tells PEOPLE about the controversial shots

By Jeffrey Slonim
Updated April 29, 2008 07:35 PM
Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage;Evan Agostini/AP

Michael Kors has added his voice to the chorus chiming in on the Miley Cyrus controversy – and gives his approval to both the Hannah Montana star and to photographer Annie Leibovitz.

“I think they’re beautiful pictures,” the fashion designer and Project Runway judge told PEOPLE at Monday’s New York premiere of Iron Man, an event he co-sponsored with the Cinema Society.

As for the debate over the photos and what all this may mean to Cyrus’s career, “I don’t understand what the hubbub is about,” says Kors, 48.

“Girls I went to high school with wore strapless dresses to the senior prom. So, I don’t get it. What’s the big deal?” asks Kors, who often chastises fledging designers on Runway for making age-inappropriate creations.

Cyrus, 15, has since expressed regret for the photos (one of which gives the false suggestion that she’s nude), telling PEOPLE, “I feel so embarrassed.”

Leibovitz has said she is sorry the photos have been misinterpreted.