The latest collection to come from Calvin Klein under the hand of Heron Preston as creative consultant has landed and there’s a strong sense that the American brand has found its path again. This, says Preston, was achieved by “redefining what is essential” for fashion today.
The collection takes the brand back to its minimalist roots. Clothing is distilled, refined, purified even down to their simplest form.
The familiar Preston graphics are gone and instead logos have been pared back to match the mood. A simple orange dash applied in some instances to signify the collaboration.
So what is “essential”?
At the heart of current fashion lies Americana detailing – the t-shirt and denim; sweaters. Now, also, activewear. But it’s all cohesive, creating a chance to blend pieces together as we would do in real life.
For a collection so honed towards simplicity, Preston has balanced the art of overstatement via fit and silhouette. The clothes are Roomy, with a capital R, yet cut with such precision that they don’t feel big. Preston has clearly been reading the room, developing a line that is comfortably done for a diverse audience of shapes and sizes.
Recycled and sustainably sourced materials have also been introduced, from nylon and polyester to the organic cotton used in knits and denim.
The bread and butter of contemporary Calvin Klein remains the underwear, and Preston too has brought these in line with his streamlined vision – softer materials, simpler shapes.
Basically, everything is geared towards your maximum comfort.
According to Preston, keen eyes will spot a number of hidden easter eggs among the garments – tag positioning – that speak to the heritage of the brand but also the modern messaging.
Calvin Klein has always been a master of blending minimalist form with function – a true herald of “American” that was both active yet elevated. Back in the early days, WWD even once described the brand as “pure American sportswear but done with style.” It’s ability to blend the runway with practical, real-life style has always been its strength and remains its best asset.
Of course, brands evolve, they create and experiment. That’s inevitable. Sometimes it works and sometimes it leaves critics and consumers scratching their heads.
But Heron Preston, it seems, is a natural fit for Calvin KIein’s latest incarnation. Or rather, return to form.