Tag Archives: Spring Summer 1991

Calvin Klein, 1991

Calvin91a  Calvin91b


“Calvin Klein has put a new spin on minimalism. Everything that could possibly be distracting is pared away. Makeup is natural. So are the coiffures. So are the clothes.

‘I feel so good about the collection,’ the designer said yesterday after his spring show. ‘I feel it’s for the modern woman. It’s all about softness.’

It is also about restraint. Those who feel clothes have to be elaborately decorated and vividly colored will not find much here to admire. This is probably the coolest, most understated collection of the season.

Since it is for warm weather, the coolness is not inappropriate.

Consider the colors: parchment, platinum, celadon and, of course, white. In this company, aqua stands out as a vivid hue.

Consider the shapes: a gently cut dress, with a high round neckline, camisole straps or no straps at all, is the key to everything.

The fabrics are equally self-effacing: washed silk, silk or wool crepe, linen and cashmere.

The clothes are the kind that show off a great figure and make one not so great look better than it is. The models skim along on flat beige T-strap shoes, looking totally at ease.

While those shapely dresses are the main event, they receive support from softly tailored jackets (often the same mid-thigh length as the dresses they accompany), skinny pants and shorts. Wrapped effects maintain the soft treatment in blouses.

There are just a few variations to the dominant look: a trench coat or two to cover everything up; a shot of navy as a change from all the pale tones; some all-over beads.

But the collection has a cohesion and a directness that is rarely achieved. All the ideas have passed through the designer’s sensibility, and he has worked over them until he got them just right. If it’s flash you’re looking for, this may not be the right stop. But if it’s elegance and style, it’s a real treat.”



Geoffrey Beene, 1991

Gianfranco Ferre, 1991

Fashion took some odd turns in the spring ready-to-wear shows Tuesday night. First Gianfranco Ferre, who doubles as the designer of Christian Dior’s couture collection in Paris, showed styles of such surpassing opulence that they reminded old-timers of overdone fancy-dress balls in Venice and Biarritz in the 1950’s. Among the astonishing sights were enormous puffs of pink taffeta for skirts with taut black tops.

Brown leather swimsuits were another arresting series. They were accompanied either by brown leather stoles or matching terrycloth wraps with thick jeweled borders. Swimming, anyone?

Nudity was a problem, though not in swimsuits. A stretch jump suit with jeweled straps had a decolletage that opened to the waistline; the model kept her arms folded across her bare chest the whole length of the runway. Ball gowns with billowing skirts had tops as sheer as stockings decorated with a few strategically placed jewels. A bikini bottom had no top at all, just a separate collar.