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Calvin Klein Designer Francisco Costa Is Out; We Look Back at His Memorable Red Carpet Moments


Does it seem like every major fashion brand is parting ways with their creative directors? Since last fall, we’ve seen splits between Alber Elbaz from Lanvin, Raf Simons from Dior, Hedi Slimane from Saint Laurent. Also entering that phase: Francisco Costa, who is splitting with Calvin Klein after 14 years serving as the brand’s women’s creative director, after the brand revealed it would be combining the women’s and men’s team into one (Italo Zucchelli, men’s creative director since 2004, is also leaving).

Rumors are already buzzing that Raf Simons is likely to step in after leaving Christian Dior as creative director in 2015, but according to a press release from Calvin Klein, “an announcement will be made in due course.” Until we hear where the company’s new direction is headed, we’re looking back at Costa’s most unforgettable red carpet moments.

Ashley Olsen in Calvin Klein dress
David Miller/ABACA

His earliest supporters right out of the gate were soon-to-be-designers Mary Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen, who both often wore the designer on the red carpet. In 2008 Ashley honored Costa at the Fashion Group International’s 25th annual Night of Stars (wearing Calvin Klein, naturally) telling People she was nervous to give the speech. “When I first moved to New York, he’s the guy that really captured my eye. I followed [his work].” And the respect was mutual. Costa praised her brands The Row and Elizabeth and James. (Hey, a guest designer collaboration could be a pretty epic next move!).

Best Calvin Klein red carpet dresses
Kevin Mazur/WireImage; Jason Merritt/Getty; Frazer Harrison/Getty

During the 2010-2011 red carpet seasons it was all about minimalist, perfectly-fit gowns that proved one didn’t need frills to be a red carpet hit. Diane Kruger’s long-sleeve Calvin Klein Collection gown at the 2010 Met Gala was a sexy standout thanks to the curve-accentuating cut. Emma Stone’s 2011 Golden Globes cap sleeve design even distracted us from her platinum do and bronzed skin. And Jennifer Lawrence’s tomato-red column gown at the 2011 Oscars was such a classic, her BFF Amy Schumer even had to borrow the look years later.

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Best Calvin Klein red carpet dresses
Larry Busacca/Getty; Kevin Mazur/WireImage; David Fisher/REX Shutterstock

Then, within the last few years the collections got a little flashier with shimmer, pearls and twirls (thanks to Kendall Jenner’s Cannes spinning streak). But it was her 2015 emerald-green Met Gala gown that really knocked it out of the park. Costa told PeopleStyle it took over a month to make and was covered in thousands¬†of hand-dyed bugle beads and smoke-colored crystals. As for the sexy lace-up detail, Costa explained, it “makes the dress more delicate, and emphasizes Kendall’s already amazing shape.”

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Lupita Nyong’o’s custom ivory Calvin Klein Collection by Francisco Costa gown worn to the 2015 Oscars featured more than 6,000 pearls of five different varieties, but according to her it was “actually quite comfortable.”

And finally, Saoirse Ronan’s 2016 Oscars emerald gown served as a nod to her home country of Ireland and although it was covered in sequins and had a plunging neckline and open back, she said, “I feel like I’m in my sweats or something — or a really beautiful sequin version.”

Which Calvin Klein Collection moment is your favorite? Share with us in the comments below.

— Colleen Kratofil