Thursday, June 4, 2009



This season for resort Miuccia Prada has returned to one of her recurring themes, the quirky mid-century suburban housewife. This time around she, her husband and their two-and-a-half kids have packed up and headed to a warmer climate on holiday. Bright, beachy colors like candy pink, lemon yellow, coral, sky and cerulean blue, red, and orange were mixed together in eye watering combinations that are definitely not for the faint of heart. Draped batwing tops were paired with short, layered A-line skirts. Mini shifts had color blocked bands around the skirt hem. And bikini briefs with ties on the side (very Malibu Barbie) were layered and worn with two-tone button down shirts or sweater vests.

After the bold solids there came a retinal assault of prints. Vaguely wallpaper prints, bold geometrics borrowed from Prada's F/W 2003 collection, overblown paisleys and illustrated tropical florals were used for everything, from wrap skirts with ties on the side, blouson tops with contrasting trim, preppy button downs, v-neck mini shifts, more of those A-line skirts and dropped waist chiffon chemises, and in almost all of the looks there were at least two prints used at a time. Combined with the Carol Brady hair the whole collection had a fun, kitschy vibe to it. It reminded me a lot of Miu Miu's S/S 2003 collection, just in a more extreme form. Overall I'm not in lust with it like I have been with Prada lately, but I'm definitely intrigued to see how, or if, this collection has anything to do with the S/S show.

Calvin Klein

Francisco Costa's recent collections for Calvin Klein in the last few years have managed to preserve the integrity of the house by making contemporary, clean, timeless clothes for an urbane, unfussy type of woman while also taking the identity of the house forward. While I admire the fact that he does such good work channeling the house DNA in new ways, there are occasional times when I've longed for the ease, simplicity and cool sensuality of Calvin himself, not to mention that I have grown a wee bit tired of the lack of color on CK runways in recent years. Granted, Klein himself was never known for bold, intense color, but he didn't use exclusively black, white and shades of gray either. For resort 2010 Costa has brought a little bit of that easy sensuality back to Calvin Klein in a collection that was much more light and easy than his recent work has been. Eschewing strict tailoring and severity for transparency and soft volume, Costa used a subtle palette of different whites and parchment, smoky grays and slates, and a handful of what I call "hybrid" colors. One was a sort of faded citrus yellow/green, another was a dusty mauvey-nude, and yet another was a pale creamy tawny orange. Like I said, they're hard to describe, much like Calvin's own color choices were back in the day. Separates consisted of narrow cropped transparent trousers, sheer organza jackets and coats that closed asymmetrically, and simple textured tops. Those trousers appeared throughout the 24 look lineup alongside occasional skirts with an unusual drape to them. More than separates though this was a collection of beautiful dresses, many featuring off-the-shoulder necklines that highlighted the collar bone. With subtle transparency and volume in the skirts they were extremely feminine without being the least bit girly.

A stunning shift in a slate gray had the transparent portion worked over the arms, while a strapless dress in charcoal had a deflated bubble shaped skirt with pleating across the front. Ivory or beige dresses had a soft drape over the hip and hems that fell to mid calf, while two full length gowns in shimmering gray or ivory organza closed the show. The whole lineup, even the pants, was a reminder of Calvin Klein's obsession with underwear and his penchant for making a sexy, unassuming little slip dress. The only real flat note (if you'll pardon the pun) in the collection was the shoes. Boyish lace-up oxfords or ankle high pixie boots did nothing for the clothes, and rather than doing what they were likely intended to do, contrast with the lightness and softness of the clothes, they just looked awkward. The clothes weren't all perfect, but it was the most "Calvin" collection Costa has done in a couple years and I really hope that he continues on this train of though for spring.

all photos from

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