Calvin Klein A/W’12 Menswear review

by Katie on February 5, 2012

It must be a sad state of affairs when a collection of fairly standard sporty urban separates, such as hoodies and nylon parkas, looks groundbreaking, nee almost shocking, during Milan menswear week, but that is what Italo Zucchelli has managed to achieve with his Autumn/Winter offering for Calvin Klein Collection.

Young and unfussy in the now customary Calvin Klein manner, the collection is almost a complete contradiction to the overwrought baroquery seen at Dolce & Gabbana, the frankly insane Technicolor camouflage at Versace, or the stuck Sixties aesthetic at Gucci, and is all the more a breath of fresh air because of it.

Another shock is how Zucchelli reins in his previous fascination with manmade textiles, choosing instead to work with cashmere, mohair, tweed, and an ample amount of alligator – which adorns sweatshirts and is worked into blazers and jeans.

Details are minimal, as you would expect, and the otherwise sombre palette is lifted by camel and steel blue, tones traditionally associated with tailoring, yet which seem refreshing and modern when applied to sportswear.

As with almost every other catwalk, the dark suit is here (next Winter’s mourners will be spoilt for choice). However, unlike almost every other catwalk, it looks crisp and modern worn with a shirt buttoned to the nape and a crew neck. Another nod to the other catwalks are the oversized nylon capes, which feel like a modernist reinvention of the dramatic opera capes shown by Cavalli and Dolce.

Italo Zucchelli’s sparse contemporary collection stands out like a sore thumb in a week filled with archaic, escapist throwbacks, and you have to admire his collection’s half-glass-full Futurist optimism. But then, what else would you expect from a company like Calvin Klein? A brand which successfully foresaw the ubiquity of designer denim, male vanity, and upmarket men’s underwear.

Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah blog.
Catwalk images kindly supplied by

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