Since Calvin Klein himself has always had an affinity for the American Southwest, it made sense for the label's current designer, Italo Zucchelli, to seek inspiration in the same neck of the mesa. His spring 2006 collection came in shades of sand, stone, and sky, and his tailored pieces featured a tonic effect that called to mind the hard sheen of desert light. A reptile-print jacket looked sun-bleached; leathers were paper-thin, as though worn by the elements. A chambray shirt and trousers suggested a gas jockey somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. In fact, there was a working-man edge to a lot of the clothes—a stone jeans-'n'-jacket combo, waxed cotton jackets in sand and navy, even a pair of dungarees (these were dressed up with a peak-shouldered jacket in the same fabric—it was Zucchelli's own favorite outfit in the show, he said).

Pitch-dark desert nights, meanwhile, were evoked by an indigo jacket over a T-shirt in a purple that suggested the last of the sunset. Romantic allusions aside, there was a lot of technology at work here: what looked like crinkled linen was actually an effect achieved by blending cotton with an iron fiber. Hard-wearing indeed, for long hot summers in the urban desert.