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.

Calvin Klein’s Tender Chic

Godfrey Deeny
September 15th, 2011 @ 3:11 PM - New York

Talk about a pure distillation of a house's signature style. On Thursday Sept. 15, in New York, Francisco Costa presented his latest collection for the house of America's high temple of minimalism Calvin Klein, and his latest runway outing proved to be a brilliantly tender reinterpretation of the label's pared-down sense of style.

"Romantic eroticism," was how Francisco Costa summed up the collection after the show, staged in Klein's own show-space on West 39th street in the heart of Manhattan's Garment District.

Created without prints and in the strictest of color palettes - nude, dusk, gardenia and petal - this collection was also a brilliant piece of self-editing. Costa sculpts clothes rather than cuts them; since he drapes with gusto and has acquired a smart understanding of how to curve and elongate a dress without adding pounds visually to the final result.

Elzabethan style jackets with Peplums hems, and high-tech finished slip dresses all captured the Klein reined-in tradition.

Presented on androgynous models, many of whom were very new faces, the collection featured all sorts of noble resources.

The defining memory of this show was the sheer self-confidence in which Costa approaches fashion today. Sculpting a cocktail dress with exposed seams flatters the figure even as it exalts it. The designs were purists clothes for true believers in the minimalist school of Calvin Klein.

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