Calvin Klein

When the first thing you remember about a collection are the models, it doesn’t bode well. Right when my thoughts were starting to wander at Francisco Costa’s fairly underwhelming exercise in retro-minimalism, out walked Kristen McMenamy, even more striking than when she modeled for the original Calvin. Then came Kirsty, Stella and Tanga. Yet despite the surprise supes and some clever cutting, especially an ingenious curvilinear raglan sleeve that created a fresh shoulder proportion, the collection felt as stiff as the geometric shapes Costa keeps proposing and women seem to keep rejecting. What saved an otherwise repetitive collection (and a musical composition by Berlin-based Alva Noto, which could have been the sound of John Cage on a heart monitor) was the footwear, particularly the black leather platform boots that seemed to levitate off the ground. Costa’s collection I’ve more or less forgotten, but seeing Kristen and Stella work the runway once more, that’s a memory that will last a lifetime—and for that, I thank him.

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