Calvin Klein Steps Into ‘The Matrix’ for Fall

I need to begin with giving kudos to Francisco Costa for how he has handled the Calvin Klein brand thus far. He continued on the modern, yet timeless, appeal that made the brand a success under its namesake. However, for fall 2012, the collection looked nothing like the brand I have loved since I was a teenager. In fact, had I not known which show I was viewing I’d have thought the collection was designed by the Wachowskis. Alas, it seems as if our dear Mr. Costa took the blue pill hoping women will wake up in The Matrix this fall.

Pre-Fall Left Me Yearning for What Fall/Winter Had to Offer

The Calvin Klein Pre-fall 2012 collection was more structured than most seasons. Broader shoulders with mixed media of wool/leather combinations and impeccable pleated details reigned. The collection just felt right and fit perfectly with the season. With pieces such as the slate-colored, pleated coat made from wool felt, I was excited to see what the fall/winter collection had to offer.

A Postmodern Collection that Felt Too Much Like a Wachowski Production

In a nutshell, the fall 2012 collection was not what I was expecting. To be fair, some elements of the postmodern collection Francisco Costa designed were in line with what I expected following the pre-fall collection. Soft 1960s-1970s Parisian “bell” shapes at the hips, sexy texture blocking in some dresses and pops of soft color were very fall and wearable. Then things took a darker more techno feel when bonded leather numbers started coming out.

Some who may not know of The Matrix or have forgotten the trilogy – yes, these people do exist — will automatically think of front row spectator, Rooney Mara’s newly cultivated style (circa The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) when these pieces came down the runway. This look, along with the harsh music, was slapping me across the face as I viewed the fall collection. I couldn’t help but think, “This may be the one Calvin Klein collection that is not sellable as a whole.”

Some Salvageable Pieces for the Modern-Day Wardrobe

Calvin Klein fans gushed at the collection as well as fashion writers. I suspect their opinions will change come late summer/early fall when celebrities will try their hand at wearing one of these Wachowski-looking numbers. However, some of these blue pill-induced fashions can be worn well if a little color is added to break up the harshness:

The Onyx technical Wool Shell will look modern and fresh if paired with the croc-embossed leather bing cherry DKNY skirt. The onyx/parchment plongee pleated panel skirt and hammered silver belt work with the Derek Lam Black/White top with collar and lace appliqué-looking detailing. Flint wool flannel and onyx shaved shearling shift dress with a wider silver belt and silver pumps will still retain the dark feel with an added pop sparkle for evening.

As you can probably tell, I am not very fond of this Calvin Klein Collection for Fall 2012. However, there are some wearable pieces to pick out. Overall, I am not optimistic about many women wanting to look like Trinity. I envision most retailers may have more selections from the pre-fall collection instead of the fall one. What do you think? Can you see yourself in one of these Matrix-looking pieces this fall?

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