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Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



.

Calvin Klein: Translucent and Transparent

Godfrey Deeny
June 23rd, 2009 @ 00:48 AM - Milan

At a moment when transparency is all the rage in finance and democracy, few menswear collections for spring 2010 seem more prescient and relevant than the Calvin Klein show in Milan on Monday, June 22, where half the clothes were super light, see-through and frequently translucent.

No designer anywhere – even in women’s wear – has embraced high-tech fabrics as much Calvin Klein’s men’s creative director Italo Zucchelli, whose experimentation with “textiles” as diverse as neoprene foam, transparent nylon and silicone mesh mark him out, in material terms, as one of the most avant-garde designers on the planet.

All this would mean little if Zucchelli’s clothes were futuristic yet weird, inventive but inelegant. However, Zucchelli’s collections have a stylish plausibility and a cerebral panache that can only be applauded.

“Upbeat, optimistic and transparent,” beamed Zucchelli after the show, as his gang of well-coiffed models changed into civilian clothes backstage. Like nearly every catwalk in Milan, the Calvin Klein runway was crammed with well-scrubbed models, as the era of the scruffy unshaven rock star fades from memory.

What worked best were the brilliant transparent raincoats, silky and almost weightless perforated leathers and a great trio of athletic silvery jackets with see-through sleeves. Using whisper light layers of fabrics in contrasting weaves also gave the clothes a curiously three-dimensional depth, which added a chic authority.

Zucchelli could have done with fewer shorts, however. While every show here attracts a score of guys in shorts, most men cannot pull off wearing them in a business context, where they lose much more in gravitas than they gain by being groovy.

But, leaving aside this schoolboy foible, this was a seriously fine exposition of modern fashion, from its aforementioned fabrics and silhouettes to the assured color palette – onyx, silver and granite with flashes of burning red and this season’s color, shiny turquoise.

Zucchelli took his bow triumphantly, understandably, seeing he had been crowned Menswear Designer of 2009 at last week’s award ceremony of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the nearest equivalent to the Oscar’s of fashion.

The collection of faintly sci-fi yet easy to wear fashion could all be worn off the runway for a close-the-deal business meeting or cool first date. Zucchelli’s futurist oeuvre seems very now, and well worthy of celebration.

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