Photos: Katherine Lowe
My last attempt at gaining entrance to a Calvin Klein show in New York lasted all of 10 seconds – the security guard looked at me, saw my lack of ticket, shook his head, then blanked me out as if I’d simply evaporated off the face of the earth. This time, I was welcomed in with open arms. It’s amazing what an invitation can do for your prospects. Inside, the photographers were buzzing. A spectacular trio of male talent was due to arrive (Zac Efron, Joe Jonas and Kellan Lutz), and they weren’t going to miss their moneyshot. A flurry of camera flashes later, and the shouting gentlemen were escorted off the catwalk. Show time.
American workwear has been the biggest trend in men’s fashion for a while now, but the title ‘American workwear’ typically refers to high-end reproductions of clothing that a lumberjack might wear. Calvin Klein’s menswear designer Italo Zucchelli took things one step further for his Fall 2011 collection, recreating the puffy bomber jackets and crewneck sweatshirts usually associated with garbage men, in extreme new proportions. If a hybrid jersey/puffer sweatshirt gave the already-buff models arms the size of tree trunks, imagine what it could do for me? (Was no doubt the thought on many other attendees’ minds. But not mine. I’ve been working out.)
Besides bicep-enhancing fashions, colour, texture and proportion were the order of the day. It started with a hunter green flannel suit, morphed into some marled browns, pulled back to asphalt greys and granite charcoals in huge puffy nylon coats, spiced up again with raspberry woollen and neoprene jackets then climaxed in electric blue suits with voluminous trousers. The finale was a parade of uniform black, spliced with a little white.
The moment it was over, the photographers stormed the runway once again. As they crowded the celebs, I swear I heard one say, “That Efron could do with one of those puffer jackets, might make him look less tiny next to the big guy from Twilight.” Hey, if it’s good enough for Zach Efron, it’s good enough for me. I’ll take mine in red.