“It’s new for us,” said Francisco Costa, describing the direction of his spring line amid the backstage chaos. “It’s much more body-conscious — very sporty and in a starker color palette.” “New” perhaps, but not a foreign concept, since sexy sportswear in pure tones was a founding tenet of the house, but Costa’s point was well taken. He delivered a show of sleek power, optimizing many of the elements key to the canon of Calvin, but also those especially relevant to now.
Sleek, elegant and athletic, the dominant silhouette was an elongated racer-back tank, worn over a longer, fluid skirt or cropped, structured pants. Already lean and languid, the slim stainless belts worn Empire-style impressed a sporty majesty on the mood. Costa cited Andy Warhol’s Mao Zedong portraits for the collection’s primary colors of navy and bold burgundy; the work of another artist (who’s big in Marfa, Tex., yet whose name Costa preferred to leave off the record as his estate is apparently quite litigious 20 years after his death) loomed larger in graphic, geometric accents and delicate lines dissecting tanks in linear decoration. The show progressed through compact ribbed knits to slick burgundy leathers on a short tank dress and precision-cut jacket. Then came the spare and serene, in a series of white and ivory variations on the same shape, closing on a note of sterling glamour with a metallic embroidered tank layered over a matching dress. Costa was not the only designer striving for an elevation of sportiness combined with grace this season, but he achieved it effortlessly and with au courant panache.