Somewhere in his misspent youth, Italo Zucchelli had a passion for all
things New Wave. The angularity, the precision, the minimalist
techno-edge that reduces the unnecessary... they've all been present and correct in
Zucchelli's collections for Calvin Klein. For spring, he carved the
lapel off a fitted black jacket, which he then showed on the kind of platinum
blond boy who populated endless bands in the eighties. Shirts featured tiny
button-down collars (another token of the eighties). One top had no collar
but a little zip. Stir in the icy New Wave-y color palette and a burst of
Siouxsie on the sound track and...well, you get the picture.
This was no mere exercise in nostalgia, though. As with Mod before it,
the upside of New Wave has always been its intrinsic modernism, so it makes
sense that Zucchelli, who is one of menswear's great modernists, would
be drawn to it. And with this collection, he projected the idea into the
future. The fabric technology alone would make the subject of a fine
dissertation. Jackets in a fine mesh had a neoprenelike gleam. Even a
more familiar material like linen was glazed to a seductive sheen for a
suit in a bitter-chocolate shade. On that note, Zucchelli's color scheme was
as intriguing as everaqua trousers, an eau-de-nil blouson, and a purple
nylon trench counterpointed black, white, and gray.
This time around, the designer relaxed his body-conscious silhouette a
little, except for an odd experiment with leggings that left nothing to the imagination. He said
he found them sexy, but men who are more modest about leg-baring will be
glad to know that he also produced the best shorts of the season.