I’m going to make a grand statement, without a hint of hesitation: Minimalism has never looked so over-the-top, so plentiful, so generous, and well, so grand as it did bouncing off Calvin Klein’s most recent runway. As for anyone who ever said, “More is more,” you’ve never seen Calvin on a hot streak. Emphasis on hot. When it comes to this house, the less there is, the more there is to look at, or so it seems. And that’s their magic trick. Or should I say Francisco Costa‘s? During his brilliant tenure, Costa has redefined the brand, imbuing it with the desirable cache it once had, without ditching the fundamentals.
This season, there’s a leanness and litheness to the silhouettes, whether those qualities are in the form of paneled, belted overcoats or roomy, pleat-front cropped pants, sheer tunics (and that’s sheer as in nipple-flaunting sheer) or satin-soft leather separates, don’t-mess-with-me tank dresses or multi-tiered layered looks. When skirts are engineered to be fluted and flared with such panache, you have to pause for just a moment. These pieces may have appeared to be simple as they wafted on by, but there’s nothing pared down about these effortless, multi-tiered parfaits. Without any force or aggression, Costa achieves a fluidity that many attempt and few succeed at executing. His dropped skirts (too short to be classified as maxi and too long to be lumped in the midi category) and cocktail dresses, some sweetly conservative in their necklines and others etching fully formed deep-Vs, read like liquid metal on the body. The subdued and muted yet sumptuous palette of midnight navy, sharp black, and slick whites, injected with pops of bold, lacquered red leather, just helps enhance the glossy, melted effect. Speaking of red, my favorite look happens to be the high-belted, deep crimson number of pure leather, designed to tempt and tease, without giving it all up.
Thanks to higher-than-thou platforms, you know exactly what to wear with those slit-up-to-there miniskirts. I mean, the shoes! After just a visual flash of Klein’s hefty mules, it’s instantly time to bid good riddance to painful single-sole pumps. Platforms are back with a vengeance (and in my world, sky-high platforms are strictly called “Tina” shoes). Slingbacks in patent leather with Lucite heels balance the striking simplicity of the clothes, and such a combination makes for one of my favorite collections of the week.