ny fashion week spring 07

Calvin Klein

Francisco Costa had a lot to live up to this season. Having just been bestowed CFDA’s Womenswear Designer of the Year Award, and coming off the heels of at the very least- two back to back, highly acclaimed collections, Calvin Klein was considered to be one of the season’s must see shows.

Since the departure of Calvin himself, Francisco has taken the Calvin Klein label, and undeniably made it his own through the winning combination of adept tailoring, dressmaking, artistry, and conceptualization. Coming into focus was a highly recognizable signature that announced, “Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein” even though the label does not bear his name.

Like last spring, and for this fall, Francisco Costa is making a case for sheer and layering; shape and construction; athletic wear, the play of masculine and feminine, hard and soft. Though the dress is emphasized, sportswear separates are hardly ignored. And like last spring, the emphasis is on white, hits of yellow, midnight navy, and black (though this time he added a palest mint green).

But unlike last spring, this season there was too much awkward fabric manipulation and too many tricky, over designed details that smacked of trying a bit too hard. And unfortunately, much of it also smacked of Helmut Lang (something that was hard not to notice) in the artsy approach to street wear. Francisco had far more success when he stayed away from too much gimmickry, and focused on cleaner lines, shape and construction. These were thankfully apparent in his slightly above the knee length athletic tank dresses layered with stiff organza, or fashioned from athletic mesh and techno ribbed fabrics; voluminous trench back dolman sleeved organza blouson ‘windbreakers’ in silk taffeta or organza worn with appealingly slouchy cropped pants or narrow short skirts; short dolman sleeved coats. The use of white alligator to form a trench coat with elbow length rounded sleeves and navy alligator to form a skirt suit (whose jacket had short extended shoulders), was the definition of ‘luxe sportif’. Almost everything was worn with a heavy platform sandal to offset the structure on top, and in some cases, the models carried large leather handbags that resembled train cases. For evening, the idea of layering sheer organza or chiffon over athletic tanks, (in midnight, black, and white) carried through.

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