NEW YORK — Calvin Klein designs have long been known for their razor-sharp lines, but the label's creative director Francisco Costa seems to have a knack for curves, too.
His fall collection presented Thursday as one of the last major shows of New York Fashion Week ended things the way the season largely started, offering clothes for a woman who can seduce and charm with intelligence and strength, but without wearing anything too tight or revealing.
Costa, in fact, purposely created a looser hourglass shape for this muse that gives room to move and breathe, sculpting stiff wool fabrics into outfits with rounded jewel necklines and a little extra fabric at the hips. For most women, this is going to work better in coats than dresses, but on the models, it was nice to see the chic, fuller shape shifts.
"Mysterious, sexy and super urban" was how Costa described it just after the show. "The iconography for this is all super modern," he said.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" star Rooney Mara sat in the front row, and the clean, architectural and unadorned style that Costa has crafted as his Calvin Klein signature seems a perfect fit for her. She might be the one to pull off a leather look at the Academy Awards.
The colors, as usual here, were dark and stark, with the only bright moments coming from a few flashes of red and a salmon-colored dress made of a glazed tweed and tulle.
The mixing of fabrics that this crowd has gotten used to seeing over the past few days was done best on a dress that combined gray wool flannel and black shaved shearling. Another standout look was a black-leather, funnel-neck bodice and a winter-white moleskin skirt. Costa also sneaked in white leather panels in the folds of some black pleated skirts.
"Innovative fabrics — like technical tweed, bonded basket weave crepe and painted wool mohair — enhance the collection's contemporary, urban aesthetic," he said in his notes.
There's never much embellishment from Costa but he did show a handful of pieces with shine that came from laser-cut embroideries.
Guests had been warned before the show that there would be extra security because of a planned Occupy Wall Street protest, but a noticeable group of protesters not materialize.
Designer Calvin Klein sold his namesake business to Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. about 10 years ago and Costa was his handpicked successor.
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