NYFW: CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION S/S 2014

My, how time flies when you’re in fashion. It seems like just yesterday that Calvin Klein introduced Francisco Costa as Women’s Creative Director. Today, he celebrated his ten year anniversary with the fashion giant by taking a look back at some of his more popular designs, updating them a little along the way so that they remain vital and current.

Costa is, and always has been, a minimalist. If one is looking for anything body-hugging, they’re at the wrong show. Francisco’s silhouettes seem to float away from the body, as though the fabric were somehow in orbit around the wearer. No one does folds and cuffs better, and his choice of fabrics this season, mostly organza and colored tweed, yield well to his mastery.

Working with a palette that is, again, largely black and white, Costa applies color sparingly at times, almost as if he is playing hide and seek, burying bits of coral so that one isn’t sure at first glance whether it was real or a mirage.

While many of the shapes were re-visitations of looks we’ve seen before, there were some new touches that made the ensembles interesting. Perhaps the most startling were large sheer panels, at times taking over so much of a jacket that the only opaque pieces were the trim. When Costa moved to the colored tweed, edges were frayed and raw, a touch that eventually evolved to full fringe, and the fringe then evolved to feathers on the evening wear.

Then, almost as if he needed to show off a little bit, Francisco comes at us with a marbled snakeskin print so fabulously treated with such impeccable precision that it might as well have had his autograph across the front. No one but Costa could pull off such a clean look from such a difficult fabric.

Yes, the collection is wearable, though some of the pieces are more practical for Midwest lifestyles than others. I think one of the challenges in wearing this Calvin Klein Collection is avoiding the temptation to accessorize it. Costa sent his models down the runway void of any accessories for a damn good reason: they don’t need it. I know many women feel practically naked without jewelry, but the visual impact of these ensembles would be ruined by being over dressed. If a little goes a long way, nothing goes even farther.

Mark this collection up as a win for Francisco Costa, and pass the anniversary cake, will you?

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