Italo Zucchelli clearly loves his life in New York. His new collection for Calvin Klein was a song to the city. He managed to find a way to duplicate the texture of concrete in stippled leathers. The lights of high-rises reflected in puddles of rain inspired the Technicolor flecks on a nylon parka. There was a fireman's poncho in nylon canvas, and the bombers and hooded sweatshirts you see on every street corner. If the collection had a directness and immediacy about it, that was surely because of Zucchelli's new living-for-today conviction. Not yesterday, and certainly not tomorrow, which is where he has so often been placed as the futurist of American men's fashion. The here and now obviously suits him, because the clothes he came up with were one of his clearest distillations yet of the Calvin Klein ethos. The name stands for a modern classicism, and that was exactly what Zucchelli focused on with this collection: not only the urban staples like duffels and puffas, but also broad-chested suits in gray flannel or tweed, and voluminous overcoats that had a timeless masculine heft. The palette was classic camel and black. Plus, every look was underpinned by a button-down shirt in white cotton.
Zucchelli's own contribution to the Calvin lexicon has been his aptitude with fabric, which usually comes out in extraordinary techno materials. But here, the focus on the classic drew him to cashmeres, alpacas, mohairs, leathers, and, most indulgently, alligator: At the beginning of the show, a felted sweatshirt had sleeves of navy alligator. By the end, there were slim alligator trousers and a matching blazer. Zucchelli brought luxury down to earth with the thick-soled loafers that are showing up everywhere as the shoe of the season.