The air-conditioning was on the fritz late Thursday afternoon at Milk Studios, and as the Calvin Klein audience wilted in the bleachers, some wondered aloud why the poor conditions persisted. After all, this wasn't a cash-strapped fashion upstart that people had come out for, but an iconic American brand owned by a multibillion-dollar company. Many resorted to fanning themselves with their program notes, which offered some relief, but not enough. It's too bad, because Francisco Costa, now in his sixth season at Calvin, turned out one of his strongest, and coolest, collections to date.

Circles and, to a lesser extent, the sixties were his themes, made evident in Empire-waist dresses with tiny dots and oversize, geometric designs silk-screened onto A-line shifts. He even offered his own minimalist take on one of the season's big trends, ruffles, by stringing circles together and stitching them at their centers to the hem of a cocktail number. Pleating on cotton voile, georgette, and chiffon (Note to stylist: Lose the skimpy panties) was another recurring motif. But it wasn't all about wovens. He reclaimed the cable knit from the bookish set, and draped jersey into a couple of soft day dresses. These last two looks were most reminiscent of the old Calvin. Now that Costa is developing his fresh, new signatures, maybe it's time for a fresh, new venue.