Francisco Costa's four-season tenure at Calvin Klein has produced collections that have both delighted and disappointed. (Part of his challenge was that fashion was having a maximal moment, while the Klein label has always been about minimalism.) But something changed with this show, which was full of signs that Costa is now really ready to flex his muscles. In a week where many designers seemed to be searching for an identityand channeling someone else's look while they figure it outCosta decided to stay true to the Calvin Klein brand: clean, supple, luxurious clothes made for city life.
Costa produced a fall wardrobe that was rich in detail, finish, and texture, with a slim, somewhat sixties silhouette, counterpointed with the occasional controlled bursts of volume. There were exemplary ink-navy suits, sleek and streamlined, with small jackets, and skirts that finished just above the knee. (One jacket had a mink hood attached, making it look simultaneously sporty, practical, and decadent.) There were some wonderful coats: linear funnel neck numbers constructed from square panels of black cashmere, or cut from caramel patent leather, and an A-line fur that combined mink and shearling. Even in its most basic momentsthe gleaming satin roll necks, and the lean pantsthis collection was imbued with the spare, architectonic look that Calvin Klein pioneered way back when, and which now seems more relevant than ever.