Calvinists — both the followers of the severe religion and of Calvin Klein’s legacy of spare chic — are expected to look for the plain and simple.
Since Francisco Costa took the helm as Women’s Creative Director in 2003, he has played handsomely with — always streamlined, sometimes sculpted, and occasionally tortured. But more recently the designer has used surface interest in order to add spirit to a clean silhouette.
For Autumn/Winter 2015 it all came together as Costa, inspired by artists and fashion styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, sent out a powerful and upbeat collection.
“Maxi and mini — two silhouettes, velvet, and a lot of leather,” the designer in summary of his collection.
There was one mighty difference between familiar silhouettes from an earlier era and Costa’s complex treatments of the materials that formed the streamlined shapes, which even included a couple of onesies.
Tiny patchworks of shearling or needle-punched calf skin gave artistic, but not actual, weight to tailored outerwear — either peacoats or maxi length — while stretch boots or sheath dresses in leather offered a contrasting smoothness.
A mini dress with silvered eyelet rings seemed too obviously Sixties in style, for Calvin Klein himself was, after all, a beacon of fashion modernity, but these literal re-makes were rare.
The clothes that sung out were long, but light – the most striking an ankle-length black coat created from a lattice of haircalf.
Even Sienna Miller, showing off her bare legs in an Arctic New York climate, looked convinced that long and light could be a stylish option.