Issue 2 Out Now!
Tag Archives: Calvin Klein
Kelly Klein, Fran Lebowitz, Calvin Klein and other guests of Malcolm Forbes’ 70th birthday celebration.
“It is a collection in which neatness counts. The clothes are in the American tradition of glorious sportswear, updated by the use of precious materials. There are strong men’s-wear accents in the double-breasted jackets in pewter gray plaids and checks, and in the lean trousers that overshadow the knee-baring skirts. Occasionally there is a hint of mauve or green in the tweed jackets, sweaters or trousers. Softening agents are the drifts of knitted cashmere, in triangular shapes or in long stoles to wrap around the body. Some knitted styles tie at one side of the waistline for a new sweater shape.”
- from FOR KLEIN, NEATNESS AND LUXURY COUNT by BERNADINE MORRIS, NYT, 1989
Much can be said about their curious arrangement, but tired gossip aside, more interesting was her impeccable style. If there ever was a woman who embodied contemporary American ease and good taste it is Kelly Klein: healthy, natural hair, a charming appropriation of menswear, the clean minimalism for which her estranged husband was known for—tinged with a touch WASPy affectation—betraying her origins in Lauren’s domain.
all images from LIFE magazine.
Calvin Klein Jeans 1981 Men’s campaign by Bruce Weber
The American poster boy for minimalism, Klein presciently understood the power of sexual tension and a violated innocence — reoccurring themes that would become hallmarks of his future campaigns and revolutionize fashion marketing.
CALVIN KLEIN’S AMERICAN TOUR DE FORCE
by Bernadine Morris
CHEERS, bravos and thunderous applause greeted Calvin Klein as he walked down the runway in a gray double-breasted suit after the best fall collection shown on either side of the Atlantic. It was brilliantly thought out and thoroughly modern, and it sported no extraneous detail. Woven into a fresh composition were all the separate threads that contributed to the widely heralded change fashion is undergoing for the new season; the result was enchanting. The show was the kind of tour de force that makes people look at fashion in a new way. Continue reading
The illustrations for two designs by Charles Kleibacker highlight his strict application of geometry to female anatomy, suggesting that such a direct design concept is, in and of itself, all that is really necessary.
An iconic Valentina image: perhaps no other couturier built such an elitist reputation by subscribing to the sparest sensibility – allowing the idea of exclusion in its purest form to dictate the aesthetic and the etiquette.
While many collections took their cue from YSL’s romance and the exihibit of the designer’s work that was held at the Petite Palais – a perfectly reactionary move against overhyped “minimalism” – there were several designers who seemed to be genuinely interested in pursuing a calmer course. Maybe the term “minimalism” is a misnomer, it isn’t really about the “least possible”, is it? In the 90′s, designers stripped their clothes down to their most abstract forms, removing centuries of convention of what clothes are supposed to be and becoming a gateway for the rest of the industry (like most modernist aesthetics) into lazy design. But the collections from New York and Paris are very designed, with the rich fabrics and the luxurious details, there is nothing minimal about them. Maybe there is no noble philosophy behind them, they are not an ascetic grasp for purity, and maybe they are actually bit common at surface, but they are certainly easy to wear.
Historically it’s been an American tenet that clothes are to be designed with ease and practicality. No, Americans didn’t invent ready-to-wear or sportswear, but their predilection for them has pointed towards an unfettered design vocabulary and clothes that have no use for any excess concept. Beyond ruffles or eccentric prints, embroideries or gems, there are means for aesthetics inherent in clothes themselves, in their seams, the fabric, and in their application to everyday life. Minimal? Not exactly. Pragmatic? Absolutely. Maybe it is enough, more than enough, to dress a woman well.
Definition of PRAGMATISM
: a practical approach to problems and affairs
: an American movement in philosophy founded by C. S. Peirce and William James and marked by the doctrines that the meaning of conceptions is to be sought in their practical bearings, that the function of thought is to guide action, and that that truth is preeminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief
- Merriam Webster dictionary