NEW YORK, United States — There’s more than a whiff of mid-century modern design blowing around fashion right now. The shapes, textures and colours of the era are showing up in unexpected places. It’s hardly surprising, though, to find a minimalist like Francisco Costa tapping the movement. His starting point this season was the curved and polished works of Barbara Hepworth, the subject of a retrospective, Sculpture for a Modern World, which recently ended its run at Tate Britain. “I was very curious about her,” Costa said, the corners of his eyes crinkling into a smile. “How polished the pieces were. They were beautiful and minimal, yet very warm.”
Bringing warmth to clean-lined clothing can be a challenge, but it’s one that Costa has willingly taken up time and again. He refuses to be stiff. And, yes, for his most recent effort, the look was soft and loose. A pair of suede jeans hung off the body as fluidly as silk pyjamas; the wrists of an oversize merino wool v-neck were split open and extended. Big pants that pooled at the hem were topped off with long, unlined overcoats in double-faced caramel cashmere or pony-hair and leather. There were prints this time, too — mostly blurred animal spots, like on a full-length leather coat with shearling cuffs as long as the forearm.
But the collection’s depth — the thing that the wearer will want to hold on to — came mostly from texture, as with the crinkly colour-blocked leather trench rendered in an oddly beautiful pinkish beige, or the ribbed knit of a long, peplum-hem skirt that elegantly dragged on the floor. Costa must have a thing for hardware, too, because his half-circle buttons and jumbo-metal toggles were nearly as artful as the shrunken sculpture pinned to the lapel of a felted wool jacket. (It was designed by David Croland.) Those are the sorts of can’t-find-anywhere-else details that will open wallets.