The art world has been a consistent influence for Francisco Costa’s Calvin Klein Collection. In 2013, he worked with the legendary Ellsworth Kelly, who was seated front row at the 2014 resort show. This season, too, Costa collaborated with an artist but in a way that felt definitive of contemporary culture: Alice Lancaster, a young, Brooklyn-based painter whom Costa knew by her Instagram handle @ragingleisure. He enlisted her for the custom prints — spare yet playful graffitilike illustrations — that he featured in the last three looks of the show.
Sourcing print work from Instagram is something that feels very current, which is the best way to describe Costa’s lineup. The jumble of references — Twenties, Jean Prouvé, street grit and sport — amounted to a fresh, individualist attitude with an active energy. The silhouettes were long and lean with great ribbed racer-back tank dresses and tunics over mid-length skirts with a flare. Graphic stripes and big, round buckle details added a bold pop factor. “It’s a little groovy,” Costa said. He layered sheer nylon T-shirts in for lightness, and built up the look with substantial leathers — striped eelskins and moto jackets and vests elongated with exaggerated buckles. Everything was worn with flat, streamlined sneakers for women with somewhere to go.