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The house of Calvin Klein has always been synonymous with all American tailoring, and though Calvin (the original ‘Mr. Clean’ himself) is no longer designing, the collection is moving forward into the 21 st century thanks to Francisco Costa, a former assistant to Tom Ford for Gucci (another house built on tailoring). While Costa is still finding his way, he has a huge fan club amongst the fashion cognoscenti (including French Vogue’s editor in chief Carine Roitfeld) as well as the talented, beautiful (and really nice) Hilary Swank, who wears the designer’s clothes and has become a good friend. Neither of which have hurt his cause.

This season, his fourth collection, Costa was intent on bring a “contemporary and young look” to the classic and somewhat basic pieces the company is known for, and it seems, “Mission, Accomplished”. Another designer who resisted being seduced by volume, almost everything was ink blue- almost black- (though there was some camel, gray, and chartreuse). Short, linear, lean, and somewhat minimal- though not in an antiseptic way, much of it had a decidedly mod 60’s space age, vibe that made for a refreshing interlude from a week seemingly filled with a ‘more is more’ philosophy. Black patent low- heeled boots that hit right below the knee added to the ambience though black open toed sandals, delicate flats, and pumps on a low heel were also used.

The coats were stellar (not surprising since Calvin Klein was first and formost a coat designer and the label has become synonymous with strong outerwear) and standouts included a funnel necked coat that resembled a two-piece consisting of a narrow top and skirt: the top half was made out of camel broadtail, and the bottom half, camel shearling. Also looking good was a black sheared mink slightly a-line coat comprised of graphic yet subtle squares, which repeated itself in thick wool. Most of the pantsuits were comprised of abbreviated (almost shrunken) jackets, and though one novel incarnation combined a narrow gray herringbone menswear trouser with a small jacket that had the look of a collage- mixing the same menswear inspired herringbone with lace, the definitive piece was an ink blue matched suit featuring a tiny, molded double breasted jacket with velvet collar worn with a black narrow pant that hit just at the hip, sporting a strip of patent in place of a traditional belt. Evening, though perfectly nice, was not as memorable and for the most part, seemed like an afterthought- though the short black satin bubble dress would make a wonderful choice for a party, and the long chartreuse satin a-line column would make a statement anywhere.


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