“I’m calling myself a sensualist rather than a minimalist.” That was global creative director Kevin Carrigan’s analysis of his fall lineup for Calvin Klein White Label — and he wasn’t kidding.
Held for the first time closer to the cocktail hour than the morning brew, Thursday’s presentation featured models in various states of dress in mise-en-scène that gave off a loungy, slightly louche vibe. And Carrigan wasn’t afraid to lose the hard lines to show a lot of skin, albeit tastefully so. Chalk, ecru, tan and black were paired with powdery ice blue and blush pink. In this age of transparency, he didn’t shy away from a little lace or a black bra strap peaking from an ecru knee-length dress or a transparent sleeveless V-neck top (later removed to reveal an ultragirly bra) worn with a lean powder-blue skirt.
Channeling the label’s pre-minimalist days “for a little eroticism,” Carrigan drew from beautiful Calvin Klein and Bruce Weber images from the Eighties. Another source of inspiration was the all-black, “very decadent, kind of sexual” East 58th Street apartment designed for Klein by Joe D’Urso.
That decades-old imagery also spurred Carrigan to add texture, as evidenced by an ecru ultrasuede long skirt, knit scarf-neck blouse and faux-fur maxi coat. For “a really major ultrasuede statement,” the material was offered in three weights: substantial for outerwear, midweight for skirts and ultralight for tops. He also showed a Calvin Klein performance faux-fur vest and drawstring jogger pants perfect for early-morning gym runs (or morning-after escapes).
Because today’s #mycalvins and logo-underwear-loving crowd might not realize how Klein once fused the rebellious and the erotic into sportswear, Carrigan said, “it looked right to kind of tie into that side of Calvin Klein that a new generation might not know about yet.”
For men, silhouettes were narrower, as seen in slim-fit suits in optical patterns and drain-pipe jeans. Fabric choices were also innovative: a black denim jacket bonded on the back with jersey, biker jackets in nylon, and faux-washed leather aviators. Much of the offering had marked Sixties references — but with a modern twist — such as a crewneck sweater in mini and macro jacquards, and a bouclé peacoat with a higher button stance. The mostly black lineup, interjected with occasional baby blue, was accented by oxblood shoes, bags and other accessories.
In underwear, the fit was still body-hugging, this season with a visual boost from metallic-hued waistbands. But perhaps the most striking look of all was a male model lounging in a sauna wearing nothing but the brand’s new square-face watch and a blanket draped over his lap. Sensual indeed.