There were bottles of “Obsession” sitting on the seats for each of the audience members when they arrived at the Calvin Klein menswear show on Sunday. And while this has become something of a tradition, what was unexpected was to see the names of the brand’s money making scents emblazoned across designer Italo Zucchelli’s sweatshirts in his winter collection.
Had the house become fascinated with its own history, navel gazing to the point of losing its desire to pursue unexplored sartorial inspirations? Not exactly.
There were a few moments in Zucchelli show where he challenged the audience. His metallic glazed “foil warp” nylon trousers; shiny satin quilted bomber jackets and tire tread patterned sweaters certainly stood out against the array of muted hued suits, parkas and snap front shirts the designer proffered up.
But most of this collection felt like ground he had very successfully explored before. The same square jawed models with slicked down hair wearing pieces that had a familiar masculine and slightly military vibe to them. A sensation accentuated by Zucchelli’s choice to pad or layer his pieces to give his men some added bulk.
During his tenure at Calvin Klein, Zucchelli has made the label relevant again in menswear. In particular, his fascination with new textiles gave it a sense of vitality. It was this energy that was somehow missing from the show. As luxurious and well executed as it was, the clothing did not hum with verve and vigor.