NYFW: CALVIN KLEIN F/W 2016

Calvin Klein F/W 2016
Calvin Klein F/W 2016

I have to admit that this fall/winter collection from Fransisco Costa bears very little resemblance to last year’s fall/winter collection save for the fact there are a large number of black pieces in both. When one looks at Calvin Klein this fall, one will see more broad lengths of leather, a slightly more urban aesthetic, and a four-toned plaid that is sharp and refined. This is a collection that, finally, steps up and takes command of your fall/winter wardrobe with a distinct style that won’t be mistaken for that of another designer.

Well, okay, at least not if you see it from the back. While we’ve seen some other masculine styled black suits this season, even earlier today at Ralph Lauren, the pieces that led Costa’s show were almost more interesting from the back than they were the front. From the front, you saw a men’s tailored three-piece suit. From behind one saw a surprisingly open back with carefully placed straps so as to prevent awkward gaps. In doing so Costa takes women from thinking they could wear a white blouse under the suit to realizing that anything worn under the suit, whether for warmth or style, is immediately complicated by those back straps.

There are straps other places as well. Multiple belts dangle from several waistlines and wide expanses of leather fall across the front of coats and even a few dresses. There is a substantial amount of leather at p lay in creating this more contemporary look. In fact, the look is so up-to-date as to cause one to question why there weren’t more models of color walking in this show. There was more than once where the white girl wearing the ensemble looked as out of place as a raw chicken at a church dinner.

Ask me what is going on with those awkward cutouts with stones placed in the center and I’m going to feign ignorance, mostly because I truly don’t have a clue what Costa is thinking with those. Most baffling are the large ones right in front of the navel. The look is somewhat reminiscent of a native tribe’s dreamcatcher, but the contrast with the refinement of the rest of the dress just feels out of place.

Still, this is a very distinguishing collection, one that does stand out rather than the in-blending that has been normal for this collection the past three or four seasons. Because of that, I fully expect to see half-naked women modeling the flared-legged pants and really hot guys dressed in little more than their underwear. That seems to be how Calvin Klein ads actually work. All that’s missing is the pop culture personality, and there were plenty of choices on the front row. I’m sure we’ll see those ads popping up very soon.

More from charles i. letbetter

LFW: CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN A/W 2015

This is likely the last show we’ll cover from London this season,...
Read More