Francisco Costa thinks being comfortable is sexy. Don’t argue.
Fall and winter are not a time to dabble is shallow prettiness, according to the Calvin Klein creative director. Instead, it is a time to dress warmly, well layered, and in more-or-less sensible shoes that don’t have open toes or heels on them. So, what did he do? He created a line full of heavy knits and tweeds in all your favorite super-muted colors and paired them with what looks like old Doc Martens left over from the 1990s. Whether or not the combination works depends on one’s personal aesthetic, but once again, there were more than a few people in the audience who would have happily grabbed up the samples in an attempt to stay warm.
Personal comfort is not something with which fashion, or those prone to consider themselves experts about style, find especially … comfortable. We tend to base our opinions on a more artistic aesthetic, going with what looks good over what makes sense. Admit it, how many times have you worn something uncomfortable at least for one specific occasion for no reason other than to look good? Don’t be ashamed, that’s the way Western fashion has worked for a lot longer than any of us have been around. I mean, come on, you don’t think Queen Victoria wore that silly collar because it kept her neck warm, do you?
So there is immediately some backlash from Costa’s collection that is so comfortable, so non-couture, that some are, mistakenly, calling it grunge, or “thrift store fashion.” I dare say, though, that when the collection hits stores this fall it will be Francisco who gets the last laugh. I can’t imagine a much more wearable line than what he has put together. Strong on earth-friendly and renewable-sourced fabrics, this is a set of clothes that speaks a little to the hermit in all of us that hates getting out in the winter and cares much more about staying warm than looking good. Only, with the ensembles Costa’s put together, one can do both.
Standouts here are the sweaters, heavy knits and over sized, something we’ve seen a lot this season. What makes Coasta’s different is that they’re fuzzy, a result of the looming process, and colored in earth tones with more earth friendly dyes than traditional fabrics. Sweater coats look especially snuggly and I can just imagine they’ll be the blanket in which more than a few young women sleep next fall.
Costa’s choice of footwear is interesting and while it certainly makes more sense than heels in weather like this, I’m not sure it really can ever, under any circumstances, go well with the more formal dresses at the end of the collection. Of course, I’m saying this to a generation that thinks wearing sneakers with Armani suits is cool. I’m sure there are plenty of people who find no fault with choosing practicality over style.
Sure, the Calvin Klein line is short on glitz and glamour, but it is heavy on wearability, comfort, and good common sense. These will be the first clothes to sell come fall. Comfort is the new sexy.