Critics Laud Calvin and Vera, Puzzle Over Posen and Sui

Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, Zac Posen
From left, Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, Zac Posen Photo: imaxtree.com

At Calvin Klein, critics marveled at Francisco Costa’s geometric minimalism and also admired Vera Wang’s newfound sensuality. Anna Sui proved quirky but entertaining to most critics, while Zac Posen’s clothes raised brows and questions. See what well-chosen adjectives made it to press in our review roundup.

Calvin Klein
Francisco Costa’s geometric minimalism generally pleased the critics, who were impressed that the designer’s austerity could be so lively. “The audience was treated to Costa at his best as the designer delivered look after look that managed to be minimal without being cold,” enthused British Vogue. The Daily called the collection’s hard lines “a form of chic seductive stimulation,” while WWD believed “the attitude stormed to the edge of aggression without crossing over.” Though several reviewers found the thumping soundtrack distracting, the clothes more than compensated. WWD liked the “big shearling coat slit in front so that it could do double-duty as edgy maternity wear,” and British Vogue preferred “a stunning patchwork pleated cap sleeve dress.”

Watch a video and a slideshow of the Calvin Klein collection.


Anna Sui
Anna Sui’s colorful pandemonium of a collection pleased critics even when they weren’t sure what to make of it. “One look topped the next for originality, use of colour and ethnic references,” said British Vogue. “All of Sui’s work comes from her 1960s soul,” Suzy Menkes explained in IHT. “The result was a show absolutely in keeping with Sui's singular look but refreshed with imagination and a new energy.” WWD was a little overwhelmed, noting the “popping colors and patterns” and finding that “the more subdued looks brought to mind what Sui does best: Cheerful cocktail fare with a hint of quirk.” Style.com loved it the most, declaring that Sui’s fall collection “ranks among her most exuberant” and confessing, “just when we thought we could be thrilled no more, an ethereal-like Aggy moved across the catwalk caped in an elfin-style dress and cape of rainbow-effect silk in a moment of pure magic.”

See a slideshow and video of the Anna Sui collection.


Vera Wang
The critical consensus on Vera Wang complimented the designer’s newfound sense of sensuality. “It was fabulous, and gave new meaning to the art of seduction,” said WWD. Style.com identified Wang’s kimono jacket as an “early Fall trend” and deemed the “sculptural bed jackets in quilted faille … equally cool.” And while WWD loved Phillip Crangi’s “remarkable jewelry,” Eric Wilson of the Times said they looked “like stripper tassles strung with a lanyard.” But he too was positive: With her “clearheaded collection,” Wang “has begun to see that simpler is better.” British Vogue loved Wang the most, highlighting the evening dresses and deeming the collection “her best yet — the epitome of sensual refinement.”

Look at a video and slideshow of the Vera Wang collection.


Zac Posen
“What remains to be seen,” coughed British Vogue, “is how his society girls will feel about paying beaucoup bucks for clothes that make them look like they should be seated at the children's table.” The Daily thought the collection was “boudoir met cabaret,” while Style.com said it “both referenced Minnie Mouse and invoked a bordello.” But there were some things to like, too. British Vogue spotted “a seriously stunning smoking jumpsuit,” and Style.com admired the elegance of a herringbone-tweed sheath. Still, the overall effect was juvenile. “So much of this collection looked designed not for grown-up women (ones with jobs) but for living dolls,” complained Style.com.

View a video and slideshow of the Zac Posen collection.