As part of New York Fashion Week: Men’s, Italo Zucchelli presented is Fall 2016 Calvin Klein Collection men’s eveningwear capsule. This is right at the heels of a highly successful menswear presentation at Milano Moda Uomo where the label historically unveils its menswear collection.
The men’s eveningwear capsule collection consists of tuxedos and outerwear that are exquisitely tailored and rendered in rich fabrics, sumptuous textures and unexpected accents.
The lustrous silver, gold and rose gold metal foil that infused the runway collection with such a vibrant energy was also incorporated throughout the capsule, as well as in the presentation’s set.
Calf framed derby shoes were worn with each look, while earrings and necklaces mirrored after bolts and screws amplified the sense of masculine sensuality that permeates the season.
Notable guests in attendance and wardrobed in Calvin Klein Collection included independent hip-hop recording artist Joey Bada$$, who is currently featured in the Spring 2016 Calvin Klein global advertising campaign; actor Ben Walker; New York Jets’ Eric Decker; DJ Brendan Fallis and musician Mack Wilds.
Other notable guests in attendance included New York Fashion Week: Men’s Ambassadors New York Giants’ Victor Cruz and Johannes Huebel.
Talking Cameron Dallas, Drake, and a New Special Eveningwear Capsule With Calvin Klein Collection’s Italo Zucchelli
“Calvin Klein is about high and low. It’s how people dress—this is relevant. The brand’s underwear and jeans element is iconic, so it’s great to include these things somehow. These long johns, then, I made them in my fabrics, and I used the original Calvin Klein waistband. I got the underwear guys to give me their waistbands!”
In that one vignette, Italo Zucchelli—the creative director of Calvin Klein Collection’s men’s branch, the highest-end tier in the CK kingdom—illustrated not only his design intellect, which is formidable, but also his kinetic and just-this-side-of-odd humor, which is captivating. Where passing interests might see a mainly minimalist heartbeat in his work (and this would be valid, for the most part), the man and his mind are far from it. His new, one-off eveningwear collection, partially made and shown out of support for New York Fashion Week: Men’s, proudly flashes his underlying raillery with visible shine.
So then, back to the long underwear. At Calvin Klein Collection’s Fall show in Milan last month, Zucchelli suggested the skivvies as proper trousers. But with this capsule, he says why the hell not, go on and wear them with a tuxedo. Who’d do it? “A Jared Leto or Weeknd type of guy,” he said, laughing. “I’d love it!”
With the exospheric hype around Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber’s latest #MyCalvins campaign, Leto or The Weeknd might be clever to demo the underwear as outerwear, even at the risk of landing on a questionable-outfits list. Regardless, the thought of an “evening long john,” replete with Calvin Klein’s distinct and, let’s face it, sexy immemorial lettering, is a smoldering evolution of the term ath-luxury. High and low, iconic and accessible, fashionable and funny. This mix is evident in other elements of the evening capsule, too: Metal tape in yellow, pink, or white gold is striped down lapels; metallic pants are meant to be worn with no shirt up top (all these foils were also seen in the main Fall collection); cummerbunds (that are actually pouches) hug fine, laser-cut T-shirts. “Modern and sexy,” said Zucchelli.
The reasoning behind the special edition—which hits stores simultaneously with autumn deliveries—falls to two objectives. The first, as mentioned, is to hype NYFW: Men’s; Zucchelli is on the board of the CFDA and keen to help raise awareness around the fledgling event, now in its sophomore round. “It’s a great opportunity for young designers in New York and for the CFDA to display what’s happening … there’s a lot of talent here,” he said, adding, “I like Patrik Ervell’s stuff. And, of course, the Public School guys.” He conceded that it may be difficult to uproot from Milan in terms of his own show, because Calvin Klein retains a space there exclusively for its men’s presentations. He also stated: “It would be great, to be honest with you, if other big brands were showing in New York … but I don’t see this, yet.”
The second is Calvin Klein’s shifting strategy when it comes to the ever-important category of red carpet dressing, which, in turn, hints at the transition happening in the general framework of what it means to be famous. At Zucchelli’s Fall show, the Vine-turned–general social media megastar Cameron Dallas sat front row, and, lightly speaking, caused full-blown pandemonium afterward. “We had Joe Jonas at the show a few years ago, and it was nothing like that,” admits the designer of Dallas’s mob scene. “They closed the streets in Milan. They never close the streets in Milan.” When asked about the relevancy—fading or otherwise—of “traditional” Hollywood types in the presence of this new age and turbo-charged fame, Zucchelli replied, “Both kinds of celebrity can coexist for the moment. They are based on two sections of qualities. Cameron’s type is about youth, new things, a cool factor. Hollywood is about … well, if you think about it, it’s more about skills, acting and singing skills that are proper and professional. I hope this still exists in the future.” (To note, there are some more conservative, all-black tuxedos in the mix.)
Music does seem to be Zucchelli’s soft spot on the fame rainbow; he admits this mini collection would fare better at the Grammys than the Oscars, and notes how much he enjoyed dressing Usher for the Met Gala and collaborating with Drake on tour outfits. He has a particular fondness for Drake, but, to this writer, it seems Dreezy prefers things a bit more subtle in terms of his look. So, the query remained, who could wear this menswear evening capsule? Suddenly, and perhaps because Drake appears on her new track, “Work,” Rihanna’s name gets floated. Said Zucchelli: “That is always a great idea.”