NYFW A/W ‘11 Report: Calvin Klein

18 February 2011

Black, white, grey and vanilla cream (oh, with a bit of metallic thrown in for good measure): simple formulae like this one have made Calvin Klein the byword for classic American minimalism.

The zipped jackets (often collarless) and slim shifts (often sleeveless) were worked around one unifying block: a narrow body, with armholes cut deep into the body to make the silhouette look even narrower. To compensate, shoulders were often extended into an exaggeratedly round shape. Beyond that simple play on construction there were no gimics or tricks: just impeccably simple clothes.

It’s no wonder that Calvin Klein has a huge following among the art and museum trustee set in the USA. This is fashion that says the woman who is wearing it has her attention on lofty things but is not too preoccupied to appreciate the fine cut of a flattering coat: just as long as it doesn’t vie for too much attention.

The white section was almost clinical in its simplicity. I find these shapes more appealing in a soft palette of cream and camel or in the evening versions of gleaming metallic. Some of the more boxy silhouettes neuter the female body too much for my taste. But the tunic and cigarette pant twosome in camel or slate grey options looked like perfect modern answers to a city suit. And the boxy jackets with ¾ length sleeves and knee length A line skirts were perfectly ladylike and  distinctly modern looking.

- Paula Reed in New York


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