With New York fashion week all but sewn up, Fall trends are sharpening into view. After Francisco Costa's Calvin Klein Collection show this afternoon, it's fair to say that sweater dressing has taken the lead. Designers, Costa included, have embraced comfort in a big way, and that's good news. When a storm along the magnitude of the one we're currently living through comes rolling in next winter, we'll have Costa's lug-soled lace-ups (a definite first here) to negotiate the slush puddles with. And to keep us warm and cozy: not only furry mohair coats, but also furry mohair dresses, and all manner of knit separates.
Costa estimated that 85 percent of the collection was knits. Not your standard-issue cashmere pullovers, of course. He approached the idea of sweater dressing with the same experimental mind-set that he used to tackle his avant-garde tailoring. There were turtlenecks hand-stitched with front panels that looked like they came straight off a loom, as crafty as anything you've ever seen on a Calvin Klein runway. And Costa also did his own take on Fair Isle; the sleeveless turtleneck tunic and matching tube skirt were the best pieces in the collection. Outerwear got a fair bit of the designer's attention, as well, and the results showed. The gradient color on one coat—peachy pink at the shoulders to mandarin red at the flared hem—was gorgeous. Another standout was speckled black with a wide band of navy nestled in the middle. Instead of buttons, Costa used oversize safety pins threaded with big plastic beads.
Asked about the new direction, Costa explained that he was looking at Loretta Lux's photographs of children for some of the proportions. And then, on the other hand, he said, "It felt like the clothes needed to be cooler, urban; there was this idea of a gypsy." The overwhelming impression, though, was of a new softness, and a heightened understanding of what might feel good to a woman to wear. Both were positive developments.