Bidding Adieu to #NYFW – The Final Day of Shows

Showing today to cap off NYFW were Ralph Lauren, Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein, (who celebrated ten years with the brand,) and Marc Jacobs, whose surf-apocalypse show rounded up the collections with a literal and figurative bang as a thunderous downpour made waves outside. 

The set inside at Marc Jacobs had a troubled weather feel as well. Broken down structures were strewn in trash-sprinkled sand, and given the pirate/beach-bound army of models, we could have been at the new beach, once inland, caused by apocalyptic global warming. Board shorts and beach bound florals were paired with highly structured epaulet-ed jacket that sported tassels and other embellishments with a military feel. Decorated evening dresses, reminiscent of wetsuits, closed out the show. Surfer dude haircuts and practical shoes – sandals or boots, depending – mixed together with the clothes to form Marc Jacobs’ pirate brigade, a coastal surfing army for impending troubled times. 

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Ralph Lauren did a mod, ’60s thing, primarily showing clothes in black and white. Brightly hued dresses made their way down the latter half of the runway – the colors were a little intense, and it’s hard to imagine wanting to be those shades of orange or green head to toe. A few checked numbers melded better with the other collections shown so far this season – those plaids, ginghams, and checks will be a trend for spring. 

xCalvin Klein – so good at minimalism – found a way to create extra beauty in the details while maintaining the core of its aesthetic. Simple shapes in black, white, and soft colors, offered the backdrop to showcase unfinished seams, laser cut lace, and perforated snakeskin details. Elegant, simple, and still interesting. 

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The Cost of Sustainable Fashion

This past week in NYC, The Washington Post‘s Robin Givhan hosted a panel discussion, called “Voices in American Fashion,” between Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, Maria Cornejo and Yoehlee Teng. Fashionologie took notes of the conversation, which covered celebrity designers, real-sized women and the alienation women thanks to fashion magazines. (Cornejo herself admits to feeling this way, saying, “I don’t even want to look at them. Anybody can make a 15-year-old model look good. It takes a lot to make a 47-year-old look good. There’s just this really big disconnect.”). The discussion got more interesting when the topic moved to sustainable fabrics.

Or, more specifically, to their affordability. “Only big companies like Target and Wal-Mart could [make it more affordable]. And if they did it, it would trickle down to us,” Cornejo says of the high price tag attached to most sustainable fabrics. So, as long as independent designers are the majority of brand heads committing themselves to using solely locally grown or sustainable fabrics and forgoing cutting costs by utilizing cheap materials or means of labor, it’s an uphill battle. But, if demand is increased exponentially, price points drop and even more individuals involved in the fabric game may begin working towards a greener practice. Fashion may never be completely sustainable, but working to promote better, more ethical fabrics is surely one step every major retailer should be taking. While H&Ms newly launched organic line may have proven not totally ‘organic,’ its fabrics were grown without hazardous chemicals and uses recycled polyesters. It’s a move in the right direction.

Calvin Klein Designers Defend Controversial Billboard

Calvin Klein has been stirring up a fair bit of controversy recently thanks to a particularly salacious billboard on Houston Street. The image is from a Steven Meisel-shot ad campaign that debuted in January as an especially racy (and subsequently banned) television commercial, which can best be described as a denim-clad orgy. While tut-tutting New Yorkers have filed complaints against the advertisement, Calvin Klein’s own designers think the racy billboard should stay put.

New York magazine caught up with both Calvin Klein’s menswear designer Italo Zucchelli and womenswear designer Francisco Costa at the CFDA’s annual awards ceremony Sunday night (the former took this year’s honor of Menswear Designer of the Year, while Costa took the same title for Womenswear last year) and found out that both stand behind the sex-charged ad. Zucchelli sees it as totally on point with Calvin Klein’s image: “I think it is a fantastic campaign. That is what Calvin Klein Jeans is supposed to be. Everyone needs to be scandalized and screaming. That is what we want.” And in Costa’s opinion, it can only help the brand’s image … especially with tourists: “I think they’ll see that and walk right into our store. I think tourists have great sensibility. That’s why they’re tourists. They’re voyeurs.”