It was the same runway in the same giant photography studio with the same top models strutting in front of the same audience—all as in seasons past. But for the Spring show at Calvin Klein, there was one very large difference: That wasn’t Calvin taking the bow. Last winter, the designer sold his company to Phillips-Van Heusen, stepped back from day-to-day design duties, and named Francisco Costa, an ex-Gucci designer, head of the women’s collection. Cue lights…

Given the intimidation factor—Klein observed the show from the sidelines—it’s not surprising that Costa played his debut on the safe side. The collection was very Klein in spirit, hewing to a palette of black, white, and warm brown tones with occasional shots of creamy orange and pink. There were elegantly limp knits in featherweight cashmere, viscose, and silk layered under leather jackets; crisp shirts billowing out over tiny shorts or slim tailored pants; and the kind of interesting details that Klein would have used to raise the occasional eyebrow (a lacy, laser-cut lambskin coat, a bright pink taffeta tunic dress, and clear Lucite pumps with neon-bright straps).

How much influence Klein still wields in the design room is unclear, but Costa seems determined not to veer too far from the founder’s course. Then again, why mess with fantastic success? When the show closed with Natalia in a fluttery organza-and-tulle dress that was clearly related to fall’s ruffled robes, it was far more homage than farewell.