The Fashion Informer was pleasantly surprised to see Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa at the Anne Klein show on the last day of New York Fashion Week, where he’d come to support fellow designer, Isabel Toledo. Naturally, we couldn’t resist asking him a few questions about his own collection (which we loved) while waiting for the show to begin.
I read in WWD that the collection began what you called “the idea of a flip.” What does that mean and how did it play itself out?
That came from a book on the Hutterites in Montana. It’s a group of people very much like the Amish. They have a simplicity, a kindness, all of these religious aspects to the clothes, to the feeling. It’s obviously very American, very pared down. High-waisted pants with a simple shirt. Overalls. Very simple. So that was my first [inspiration]. I found this book and I was so thrilled, I’d never seen such beautiful pictures. Laura Wilson is the woman who did all the pictures. And it's really gorgeous. I mean, pictures of Montana wilderness like I’ve never seen before.
Have you ever been to Montana?
Yeah, I have, which I loved. Oh, I love, love the West. I’m so in love with the West. So that’s how it really started and I wanted to bring that sensibility in as the starting point. Which is very, very difficult because skirts being longer, you know, how do you make that current? And I also wanted to bring the plaids into play so I used those subtle grey plaids. But that’s all in reference, really, to the patterns that they wore.
And did you give yourself the challenge to eliminate seams?
Yeah, absolutely. The whole idea was the seamlessness of it all. Some of those jersey dresses were cut from one panel. It was very interesting to do it. And very challenging to do it. Trying to eliminate anything unnecessary.
So what brings you to Anne Klein today?
Well, I love – love! - Isabel and I’m happy to be invited to the show to begin with. And obviously, it’s the only show I’m making this week. I’m just so happy to be here, she’s so talented. And I like her spirit.
Photos, below, © "Hutterites of Montana" by Laura Wilson