The cool minimalism of the early nineties has been a theme that’s popped up at the shows for the last few seasons, but leave it to the original master to finally get it just right. That’s not to say Calvin Klein’s Fall collection isn’t modern. Actually, from the fresh dress cuts to the offbeat fabrications, Francisco Costa is proving he’s far ahead of the curve. While nods to the past come through via the decisively laidback silhouettes, the dropped, below-the-knee hemlines, and (obviously) the Doc Marten-esque combat boots, the rest is purely 2014 and beyond. And the combination is breathtaking.
I would describe many of the easy, belted shift dresses as “colorblocked,” but black, gray, and ivory don’t exactly quality as colors. Which made the looks all the more appealing! It allows you to indulge in the sense of texture – there is gorgeous texture by the mile, and it’s deeply tactile. Panels of plush wool come together with chunky crochet knits, for a cozy effect that somehow doesn’t connote pure comfort.
Just when it settled into a strictly neutral palette, jolts of searing orange and rich teal were introduced (also via knit), and the result riveted. There’s a home-spun, hand-touched feel to the knits, weaves, and deliciously frayed edges, and the recurring oversized safety-pin details, fastened onto many of the coat closures, bring the point home.
If bringing a completely new meaning to the term “sweater dress” was one of the brilliant Costa’s goals this season, then bravo! Sleeveless, crewneck, pleated, collared, cinch-waisted: this is a new way to wear the dress come autumn. But the real show-stoppers, the items to already start coveting and craving are the coats, coats, coats! Lush wools and nubby shearlings come fit, flared, and impeccably tailored, and it’s impossibly to pick just one (though a cream stunner has my name on it).
As flawless as it is unexpected, the Calvin Klein Fall 2014 collection proves modesty can be more exciting than shock value and body-consciousness. Light on skin and heavy on nonchalance, grunge-inspired yet oddly glamorous, attainable yet highly elevated: the new Calvin Klein woman is one I want to see more of. Or she’s the woman I want to be!