Sleek. Simple. Fast. The words Francisco Costa used to describe what he was working on a week before the show proved right on the money when his collection for Calvin Klein hit the runway on Thursday. Costa took sterile shapes — “perhaps the simplest we’ve ever done,” he said — and built them up with technical fabrics and aerodynamic cuts that indeed conveyed a sense of speed. The effect was severe and spare, but chicly so.
Sleeves were molded from rounded shoulder to narrow wrist on dresses and coats, one of the collection’s main attractions. They came contoured in slick, shiny black, or more architectural, such as the thick folds of a pretty, ivory shearling. The latter was one of the few soft moments, as shirts in silk crepe and leather, razor-creased trousers and wool jackets had a stamped, almost two-dimensional quality. A pure palette of black and white with a mere two pops of cobalt blue prevailed. It all made for an exercise in stark purity that at times crossed over to boring with some styles repeated in multiple fabrications. But then Costa recovered by working in interesting textures. An ivory column dress was embroidered with what looked like uniform little bumps, and a series of silver Lurex dresses was done in a subtle graphic pattern inspired by Carsten Nicolai’s light installations.