NYFW S/S '11 report: Calvin Klein

17 September 2010

'Architectural' and ' intellectual' are not adjectives that immediately suggest to-die-for clothes. And to be brutally frank, the appeal of a Calvin Klein collection is often more rooted in the brain than the heart. It attracts the kind of woman who makes cool and unflappable progress through life: the last lady to be overheard gasping ohmigoditsfabulousivegottahaveitnow!!!! Designer Francisco Costa constructs his clothes along sculptural lines, which can seem as if they are more about the theory than the body. They create a big impression and are worn by women with a singular point of view who can carry it off.

But something happened this season to lighten the whole thing up and, if Francisco ever spent a sleepless night worrying that the feminine softness that bordered on flirtatiousness might be a compromise too far I think he should rest assured it did not. Like the school swot who takes their glasses off and turns out to be a beauty, this was a collection that was true to the Calvin DNA but head turningly seductive.

Ankle length, racer back dresses with gentle cocoon skirts in cream crepe summed up a summer day in their floaty movement. The new romance at Calvin Klein is summed up by easy fullness and laundry freshness. Trousers were wide to the floor with hip length collarless jackets or wide and cropped in crisp white cotton with tunics layered over t shirts layered over low slung belts in  softest creamy leather. An A line artists smock in cotton poplin that hit mid thigh and a pintuck fronted silk gymslip dress were the essence of modern femininity. Waists were gently defined with shoestring tie belts. 

It had the romantic spirit of Deauville but the urban sophistication of NY: a winning combination. Whats not to love about the new lighthearted freewheeling Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein.

- Paula Reed in New York


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