The latest collection of summer dresses from Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein seems designed to transition from day to night. In fact, the setting sun was the inspiration for the line's sexy, modern shapes cast in a range of warm tones to cool neutrals.

 

This collection, available today in stores and online, is part of Macy's "A Magical Journey to Brasil" campaign, which enlists a variety of designers to celebrate the country's vibrant culture. Ten percent of sales from these collections will benefit the Amazon rainforest. We spoke to Costa about how he captured his native Brazil with these looks.

 

Which elements of your home country did you want to evoke with this collection?

 

Architecture, for me, is the most important thing. I have great love for architecture, and Brazilian architecture really signified a lot for me growing up ... [such as] the gorgeous sunset over the [Niteroi Contemporary Art] Museum, which is basically cement and steel -- very basic elements. That's my color palette: the sunset colors over the cool cement, and the white and black and gray.

 

The cool colors and minimalism probably aren't what people usually associate with Brazil.

 

Well, it is very festive -- and very sophisticated. There is a tremendous sophistication in Brazilian architecture and art. I think there's a misconception of Brazil as Carnival. The stereotypical Brazil is great, but there's a love of sophistication there that is represented through my designs, through the fabrication, colors and wearability.

Are there any major differences in Brazilian and American style?

Brazilian women are very sensuous. Maybe there's a little more sensuality in the way they present themselves -- a little less puritan, maybe. ... There's an easiness about the culture, the weather, what have you -- the less fussy, the better. There's a level of confidence in Brazilian women -- and they're not all the same, you know, it's not all perfect bodies. They're not all Gisele [Bundchen], but they're all confident, which is really nice.



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