02/14/2013 04:24 EST | Updated 04/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Calvin Klein's Costa puts some menswear details into chic womenswear

NEW YORK, N.Y. - After eight days of New York Fashion Week previews, there was still something new to see on the Calvin Klein runway, including some of the best coats of an already good coat season.

Creative director Francisco Costa said the collection was loosely based on the 1960s Russian film "Ivan's Childhood," set during World War II. It was about the coming together of masculine military looks and feminine softness.

It's a "modern uniform," Costa said in his notes.

Geometric shapes are familiar ground for Costa, but the more refined tailoring and menswear-driven fabrics are a shift for the designer who recently has experimented more with raw edges and looser shapes. These clothes for next fall couldn't have been sharper.

First out was a plaid coat with a trench-style collar, oversized pockets and small rectangular cutouts. One couldn't see much of the cashmere V-neck sweater and plaid pencil skirt underneath but assume they were perfectly tailored and lean considering how the coat fit.

Other chic outerwear options included coats with knife-pleat backs, and a plaid belted overcoat with patches of shiny black vinyl. (It should be noted that in Costa's subtle, sophisticated esthetic, a plaid could be a dark grey or midnight blue set against black.)

"Statement coats featuring trench lapels and strong, defined cuts evoke a powerful, chic confidence," Costa said.

A black tuxedo coatdress with sharp shoulders, pleated details and a double buckle was nothing you'd want to cover up.

There were two dresses of similar V-neck silhouettes, but one was in a buttery winter-white leather and the other was black leather. They exemplified the alternating luxe and tough vibes that have crept onto the catwalks. Tiny pieces of gold hardware dotted on the dresses linked them together in a cohesive message.

A forest-green leather dress looked like a long-sleeve T-shirt worn under a strapless bustier.

Costa called the look "pure elevated sportswear."


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