Calvin Klein is one of the great zeitgeist readers of our time. His collections, like his famous ad campaigns, always reflect and amplify some aspect of the national mood, but filtered through his cool, minimalist aesthetic. And in his beautiful Fall show, Klein mirrored a sober but still sensuous attitude toward life during wartime.

Klein's first group was, like many this week, all black, starting with a fitted coat whose seams were traced in leather and followed by sweeping dresses, pleated skirts and tops done in flowing fabrics. He then introduced tones of brown, gray and navy, and worked in military references, like a taupe Eisenhower jacket and a few officer's greatcoats recut with the new, higher waistline. But while Klein's smart menswear tailoring touches were present throughout—pants cut slim but not skintight, jackets that sat just above the waist—the net effect was always feminine, helped by sexily transparent knits, floaty georgette tops and a fit that lightly grazed the body.

Klein's eveningwear is always noteworthy for its inventive cut and restrained romance, and he didn't disappoint this season. He sent out a gorgeous series of dresses assembled from diamond-shaped pieces of satin that will make even the most determined nesters long for a black-tie evening.