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



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Calvin Klein’s High-Tech Athletic Futurism

Godfrey Deeny
June 19th, 2011 @ 3:08 PM - Paris

America, which for most Europeans traditionally represents the future, was very much at the vanguard of fashion in the latest path-breaking men’s collection from the New York house of Calvin Klein, staged on the afternoon of Sunday, June 19, in Milan, Italy.

Using a whole series of canny fabrics, from shirts in circuit board in prints that looked multi-dimensional to high-tech waffle weave jackets with mega dimples, this was an eye-arresting display of artfully new men’s style. A collection, which while hyper futurist, was nonetheless very much in keeping with the minimalist DNA of this American fashion institution, a further credit to Calvin Klein’s menswear designer Ital Zucchelli.

“My idea was fusing hyper three-dimensional effects into modern men’s clothes. That’s why some looks were inflated, others pretty bumpy,” Zucchelli told FWD after the show, presented in Klein’s European headquarters in south Milan.

In his half decade at the house, Zucchelli has matured into a highly assured designer, whose sense of how a runway show and collection needs to unfold is now pretty faultless. He opened with an engaging choice of technical sportswear, double-layered stretch tank-tops in stretch cottons, all worn over voluminous jogging pants in a spongy foam fabrics, like bonded cellular jersey, all cut loosely at the front and saucily around the backside. And, in a season where many designers are plenty with lots of ideas about transparency, Zucchelli’s choice of see-through industrial plastic soles on his brothel-creeper style sneakers, or transparent eyeglass frames, all seemed very timely.

Moving onto the tailoring elements, the designer played brilliantly with the squishy fabric, best of all with some sleek, avant garde tuxedo jackets. Using laser technology Zucchelli cut tiny miniature “windows” in many tops and jerkins so the garments billowed as the models marched down the runway. Though the one fabric sure to set the biggest trend will likely be some sure-fired best-seller jeans made of a distressed, washed and then waxed denim that was defiantly new.

Dress shirts and Eisenhower jackets in white mesh – a big trend in Italy this season – also all looked great, as did sleek super hero smoking jackets. Composed in a light pastel color palette of citron, pale blue, putty and silvery cerulean.

In a word, a tour de force of modernist men’s clothing and a show that was a great expression of contemporary cool.

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