An about-turn at Calvin Klein Collection

Two words: Rooney Mara. The new face of Calvin Klein?

Francisco Costa must have surely been thinking of her when he was conceiving this collection. And there she was, front row, all black hair, pale skin, black dress.

This was hardcore fashion. Not in the manner of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, those raunchy black biker leathers and piercings. Good grief, no. It was as if Rooney had been plucked from that set, polished up, and transported to where? One of Costa’s beloved downtown New York art galleries, perhaps?

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The dresses were certainly sculptural. High necked, cut with precision to stand away from the body and rendered in stiff glazed wool, from pitch black to orange, they made a dramatic statement. Coats followed the same big-skirted silhouette, drawn in at the waist with hammered bronze or silver belts. Jackets also played on that volume theme and were cut short at the hip, the better to see those wide front-pleat trousers, cropped just so above the ankle.

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It was a massive turnaround from last season which saw Costa at his lightest, feminine best with whisker-fine dresses that looked as if they weighed no more than a feather, in shades from butterscotch to cream. But, you can’t help the feeling that Costa’s heart lies more in the conceptual, in pieces that would quite literally stand up on their own – to be admired and marvelled at as art pieces in a gallery. His designs are certainly exhibition worthy.

There was no pandering here to the red carpet – unless it’s Rooney he’s kitting out, or some other incredibly fashion-aware, dresses-to-the-beat-of-her-own-drum type of actress. She would look fantastic in one of those liquorice black leather dresses with the necklines that reveal an oblong of white skin or one of those spectacular sleeveless vest dresses that jangled with an overlay of what looked like black chainmail.

Whatever, this was one of Costa’s strongest statements to date. And it’s fair to say that the Calvin Klein Collection show ended New York Fashion Week with a bang.

See the full collection here

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