Francisco Costa made a gorgeous contribution to Calvin Klein’s house message of sexy, urban, rock ’n’ roll cool with his fall collection. The clothes were far out of Justin Bieber’s league, as they should have been, and the attitude and craft was on point.
Lately, Costa has been loosened up and liberal on his runway, adopting a sultry, intellectual Sixties/Seventies swagger this season. Operating under the combined influences of Carlo Mollino’s erotic Polaroids, Lou Reed’s poetic edge and artist Kiki Kogelnik’s free-spirited femininity, Costa’s lineup had moments of imposing femininity and fragility.
Luxurious skins that flaunted technical details formed the core of the look, giving it richness and depth, while likely pricing many of pieces out of production. Regardless, they were something to behold. Vaguely Sixties-inspired tailored trenches, with big buttons and exaggerated collars and belts, came in black needle-punched calf hair and in blush patchwork shearling. Patchwork recurred throughout the collection, on a trim white leather biker jacket and matching skirt and another wrap skirt in a rich mix of brown, purple and bronze leather. It worked the collection’s assertive bohemian side, accentuated by a hobo bag slung across the body with an exaggerated resin chain strap.
There were two lengths: mini and maxi. The first took the form of shifts that were Mod-ish because shifts always are, but also modern because of Costa’s nuanced cuts. He managed to make a keyhole neckline seductive, exaggerating the cutout to circle the entire breastbone. The latter came on coats and slinky ribbed knits that have staged a revival this season. A pair of long, lean black styles — a jumpsuit and tank dress with elongated leather yokes — did the house proud and brought the look back to the body.