new york autumn winter 07/08

Calvin Klein
by Marilyn Kirschner | photographed by Yannis Vlamos

This season, Francisco Costa erased all the remnants of last spring's overly tricky, artsy collection which many fashion insiders considered to be too derivative of Helmut Lang and went back to what the Calvin Klein label is known for (and then some). After days of looking at prints, minis, lavish fur trim, dizzying mixes, the designer who took over from Calvin when he retired in 2003 put forth a vision that looked unfettered, sleek, modern, polished, and imminently wearable. Nothing shouted and there were no outlandish 'try' too hard statements but yet these were hardly dull clothes thanks to beautiful tailoring, dressmaking, and precise cut. These are the kinds of clothes many smart, chic women around the world can relate to and always need.

Citing inspiration from Elizabeth Taylor in "Butterfield 8", (this was only meant to be a mood, not an overt reference), Costa relied on the fconsistency of a flattering, lean, dark silhouette (using various shades of heathered gray which almost appeared to be black), to create an architecturally minimalist line. It was very consistent from start to finish: narrow knee length skirts, dresses, and coats...the first two cut so that one could actually move (long was reserved for a few narrow black evening columns); lean elongated pants,;easy jackets (some of which had raglan sleeves and an active sportswear feel owing to zippers and hoods); and artfully constructed chunky cable stitch hand knits which were treated like outerwear. And which were so heavy I suppose Francisco thought of them as a politically correct replacement for furs, which were notably absent from the runway. And of course, there were the coats, which have always been a strong point for Calvin Klein since the very beginning. Everything was shown with thick black opaque tights and black suede high heeled pumps. The models' hair was pulled back into straight pony tails and there were no accessories or jewels to break the line.

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