Today's Calvin Klein Collection show began with a musical composition and light show by Alva Noto (a.k.a. Carsten Nicolai) specially conceived for the occasion. The room went dark and spotlights that looked vaguely like stacked vertebrae pulsated to the rhythm of the soundtrack. It was a fittingly conceptual beginning for Francisco Costa's Fall lineup, which was pared down in the extreme.

The designer opened with a streamlined collarless coat in lustrous black cupro. Its molded, rounded shoulders and full sleeves turned up later in a double-faced wool suit jacket worn with a wrap skirt, as well as in an ivory crepe and leather long-sleeve T-shirt teamed with matching high-waisted, cropped pants. If the stiff, sculptural shapes of these pieces weren't the most flattering, Costa's two other areas of interest this season—regimented tailoring and shift dresses—paid more careful attention to the lines and curves of the female body.

A midnight blue trench in stretch technical wool had a commanding presence. (The fact that Stella Tennant wore it probably helped; along with Kirsty Hume and Kristen McMenamy, the nineties supe was there to represent the golden era of minimalism.) A hammered-cashmere cape, two curving arches cut away from its hem, was equally dramatic. As for Costa's sleeveless shifts, what made them compelling was their glossy, liquid-mercury fabrics or, alternately, their calla lily-inspired draped shapes. Evening was represented by a trio of silver silk Lurex columns with subtle gridlike embroideries. They aren't exactly red-carpet-friendly (sorry, front-row attendees Kerry Washington, Kate Bosworth, Isabel Lucas, and Naomi Watts). But in their spare simplicity—like the best pieces in this collection—they're undeniably cool.