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Minimalism Warms Up At Calvin Klein


You can smell a Calvin theme by the set dressing. Last season’s ode to angularity and geometric form was staged under the eaves of a house stripped to its beams. But today’s Fall presentation of Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, and Calvin Klein Underwear, all under the able auspices of Kevin Carrigan, was white sand and what looked like wheat-y beach grass. “It could be Marfa, Texas; it could be Calvin in the Hamptons,” Carrigan said.

Marfa, Texas, was famously the seat of power of the great minimalist Donald Judd, whose influence the designer said he had been channeling. But the driving spirit was, as always, fashion’s master minimalist: Calvin himself. Minimalism can read chilly, but Carrigan was working to bring out its softness and warmth. “A sensual shift,” he opined. You could see that in the cool, creamy palette and the brushed fabrics. “I’ve never used these brushed alabaster flannels,” Carrigan said, gesturing at a simple sheath dress, “and, to me, that’s quintessential Carolyn Bessette”—quintessential Calvin girl, onetime Calvin employee, and nineties minimalist par excellence.

The range had a quiet glamour that last season’s outing missed, and key pieces—like Antonina Vasylchenko’s fur-trimmed parka, worn with a loose-woven cabled sweater—looked appealingly rich. Carrigan aimed to leaven minimalism with movement, so crystal-pleated shirts swished and longer pant lengths slouched and trailed. The longer skirts, on the other hand, hitting just below the knee, were a little too schoolmarm strict. A black leather pleated skirt and stud-fastening shirt looked like more fun.

Photo:Billy Farrell/



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