Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In the Market: Calvin Klein Presentation

Easy Does it...

Calvin Klein White Label Collection
Click on images for full size views
(Photos Marilyn Kirschner)

It’s not exactly newsworthy to point out that we are in the throes of a fashion moment that emphasizes all that is sporty, relaxed, and eased up. Many designers seem obsessed with perfecting the combination of form and function and providing reality based clothes that factor in our busy modern lives (and the attending need for speed). And the lines between active wear, gym wear, and street wear continue to be blurred.


Of course, these elements have long defined many designers and houses, not the least of which is Calvin Klein White Label. Creative Director Kevin Carrigan has traditionally fused high tech, high performance wear elements with his sleek, simplistic, minimalist street wear, and there has always been an underlying ease that pervades his collections (quite frankly, ‘ease’ is the operative word). This was exemplified by spring 2015, which was presented yesterday morning on the ground floor of 205 West 39th street. Apparel, jeans, underwear, performance, swimwear, and accessories were once again shown informally, installation style, on a roster of male and female models whose youth, natural beauty, and perfect athletic physiques could not have been better suited for a collection that seems especially geared for urban gym rats (the entire venue was made to resemble a large, sprawling, elegant gym; down to the dumbbells strewn around the floor).


Laser cutting, bonding, neoprene, and mesh, are used to good advantage. The predominant silhouette is slouchy (Kevin’s key outerwear piece is the sporty parka), but there are also a number of sleek fitted jackets. Denim is worn in, soft and washed, and done in pale, powdery rinses (there are slouchy unisex separates and a romper that was shown with a black triangle bra to add a bit of cheeky contrast). What is not at all unisex is the unapologetically feminine and seductive underwear (transparent black lace slip dresses and bodysuits and bustiers with sheer insets).

Calvin Klein White Label one piece swimsuit with stretech  mesh insets

As for swimwear, there are mix and match graphic and linear two piece bikinis, and (perhaps newest), the dual v neck one piece with stretch mesh insets. The chicly neutral color palette of chalk, cement, slate gray, white, and black is enlivened with touches of vivid cobalt blue, safety orange, and chartreuse which are provided by the accessories: sunglasses, bags, footwear. By the way, the active influence that pervades the line is very much apparent in this category as well: handbags feature bold hardware and clips that reference the gym, and sneakers, slides, and sporty flat sandals are the footwear of choice

Pointy toed flats in black & white python

And just a word about athletic footwear: I love flat, comfy, sporty shoes as much as anyone, and am happy that designers have embraced them, and that they've caught on with the customers. But they are obvious, predictable, and ubiquitous at this point (let's be honest: they're almost clichéd), which is why I gravitated to the chic pointy toed sling backs with squared off flat heels in black and white python skin.




-Marilyn Kirschner

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