Calvin Klein Red Carpet Dresses: Style Inspo

Calvin Klein Red Carpet Dresses: Style Inspo

February 10, 2022
By Lacey Nakashima

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Red carpet looks are the stuff of fashion dreams. Celebrities are coveted for their red carpet fashion and the number one question on any red carpet is, “Who are you wearing?” Well, today is all about the times they answered, “Calvin Klein.”

Since 1968, Calvin Klein has been bringing the epitome of fashion-forward looks and style to the table and we don’t see an end to this anytime soon. They pride themselves on their “clean aesthetic and innovative design” and they definitely understood the assignment.

Today, we are bringing you the very best of Calvin Klein red carpet dresses and fashion moments to inspire your next black-tie affair. From Met Galas to the Academy Awards, Calvin Klein has been serving you all the styles and silhouettes of your heart’s desire and we know there is something for everyone here.

Not So Basic

Calvin Klein leads designers in the magic of an understated ensemble. Clean lines and beautiful fabrics that drape and hang on a woman’s curves so perfectly that bold patterns or heavy detailing aren’t needed is everyday work for Klein. When you’re able to create a gown that steals the show without adding any wild details, well, that’s a designer who knows what they’re doing.

One such silhouette was the infamous red low scoop neck red number that Jennifer Lawrence wore to the Academy Awards. This was a gown that at this point she wore over 10 years ago but it is still one of the most iconic gowns worn on the red carpet.

The color was perfect for her complexion and the lighter blonde color of her hair made the red pop. She kept accessories simple and let the dress really take center stage. It was a silhouette that would have flattered many body types, and Jennifer Lawrence’s natural curves were accentuated perfectly in the draping cuts of the gown.

This is a great option for a special birthday dinner or fancy dinner party; it’s a showstopper of a dress that was made to party.

Another such example is the beautiful short-sleeved white gown Elizabeth Olson wore to the American Film Festival. It is a floor-length t-shirt style gown that hangs on Olson’s curves and hints at her natural shape. It is a flattering gown that would work for any body type; the looser fit to the gown would work for a fuller figure because it would fit tighter at the bust and waist then hang looser from the hips down which would help elongate the body. In addition to this, the short sleeves would slim the arms and accentuate the shoulders which helps to complement the body.

The flirty vibes of the gown are subtle but the effect speaks volumes. Olson chose to keep accessories and hair simple which helped to ensure the dress was the wow factor of her red carpet look. The white color of the simple fabric kept the gown dressy but overly formal for the style of the event she attended.

This would be great for an art gallery opening or garden party. The style of the gown is less formal but classy enough to translate to more than just a dress to wear to lunch, although we wouldn’t blame you if you wore this dress to lunch!

Here are a few examples of some simpler cuts:

Cut It Out

Cut-out gowns have been a long-standing design staple of Calvin Klein that has stood the test of time. These gowns utilize a peek-a-boo factor to draw the eye in a certain way or to a certain focal point. Each time it draws the eye to a slim area on a woman’s body and highlights a bit of skin showing where the wearer feels most comfortable flaunting a little more.

At the 2012 SAG awards, Jessica Chastain wore a gorgeous teal gown with a subtle cutout design at the bust. It was a form-fitting corset style cup with a thinner strap and featured a straight silhouette. It was a stunning gown and on Chastain’s slim figure and smaller bust. It was the perfect compliment to her body.

The teal color was a perfect match for her complexion and hair color and the cutout/plunge style top emphasized her bust by drawing the eye to a slim area; it accentuated her petite shoulders and collarbone and drew the eye to her bust which added depth to an area that isn’t naturally overflowing.

This is a great style that would be the perfect amount of style and sexy at any cocktail party; there isn’t an overabundance of skin showing so this could even be worn to a networking event as it is more trendy than revealing.

We can’t talk about cutout details without referencing the gorgeous white gown Lupita Nyong’O wore to the Critic’s Choice Awards. It had a cut that looked sort of like a crop/bandeau top with a tank/jumper overlay and it slayed.

The halter design in the front accentuated Nyong’O’s shoulders, which put her perfectly toned arms on display. Don’t even get us started on how well the bright white color complimented her gorgeous complexion; it was literal perfection.

It was a gown that once again utilized the natural draping of the fabric to hug the curves ever so slightly to create a subtly sexy silhouette. The gown also offered a tapering hem on the skirt that jetted in from the hips, a design choice that would be great for women of many body types as it would divert the eye from the hips and draw them in on the hemline to appear slimmer and longer. The cropped style of the gown would be right at home on any date night where it was necessary to dress up a little more.

Calvin Klein killed the game another time with the crop top style: at the 2015 AMFAR Gala on Kendall Jenner. The criss-cross tie around her waist was a perfect accent to her toned figure. The subtle halter strap created more volume around the bust, giving her a fuller silhouette while also drawing attention to her softer shoulders. And the skirt; oh my god, the skirt! It featured an A-line shape with the train and was so dramatic and beautiful. She posed for pictures on the stairway and the train draped so far behind her the pictures are iconic.

It is definitely a style you could see at a garden party and would be a perfect option for a black-tie wedding. Here are a few designs we think you’ll love:

It’s All in the Finishes

Calvin Klein not only does simple, understated elegance, but he also does pattern and texture and makes it hard to compete. The design house’s love for simplicity and stylishness is only matched by their equal love for gowns rich in details and fabrics that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

We have to start with Lupita Nyong’O and the iconic pearl-covered gown that she wore in 2015 to the academy awards. The style featured a halter neckline that once again gave her sculpted arms center stage and the plunging neckline with cutout details were the perfect complements to her slim figure.

But the gown, OMG the gown. It was a white floor-length design covered, literally every inch, in white pearls. The pearls ranged in size and the biggest ones were all along the neckline which accentuated her face in a brilliant way. Overall, the texture of the gown was rich and over the top, so anyone looking at a picture cannot turn away. We can just imagine what it would have been like to see the dress in person, let alone wear it. Can you just imagine running your hands along the details all night?

We are calling all brides here with this dress choice. If you stick to white and a similar texture then this would be the epitome of perfection for a bridal shower or rehearsal dinner. Changing the color would open it up to a few more possibilities including the ideal choice for a milestone birthday where you get to be the center of attention and the high profile party year means you get to be really extra.

Rose Byrne wore a red laser-cut long sleeve dress to the Met Gala in 2015 and style experts are still talking about it. The material was red with flower laser cutouts all over in a leather-like fabric that also featured embellishments to accentuate the fabrics. What might have been the most perfect detail was the halter plunge lining of the dress that only covered a very deep V-neck on top and a simple straight mini skirt on the bottom; the rest of the material was sheer and featured a high low skirt detail in addition to the sleeves.

The theme that year was China: Through the Looking Glass and, well, Rose understood the assignment. Being able to see the curves and lines of her body left us in awe and the luxe fabric she wore was a showstopper. We doubt there were many other attendees that year that hit it so well with their clothing choices.

A gown similar to this would be great for a cocktail event and if you were invited to an art show, you would literally be the most creative guest there.

Bold Is Better

Rooney Mara created a little intrigue at the CFDA Awards in her black gown by Calvin Klein; she accompanied the head designer at the time and she was perfection on the red carpet. Black is her signature color and she wears it well. Black gowns create a little extra drama by nature and her textured gown was no exception. The fabric seemed to be sheer in the most subtle way but also had a texture that made it look as though it were ripping, giving us Cinderella after her stepsisters tear her first gown vibes.

The high low detail of the skirt gave way to her pristinely paired high shine platform heels and barely-there accessories (literally just an arm cuff) gave the dress all the attention. She paired the look with a pop of red on her lips and it was the perfect and probably amount of color necessary to just give the dress a little something extra.

If you love a good play or opera, this is the style of dress for you. It’s definitely an event where you want to get dressed up and look regal without going overboard so a high low gown is a perfect way to ensure you’re appropriately dressed up.

We cannot leave out Kerry Washington at the CFDA Fashion Awards in her feathered mini frock. It was a white shift dress with a subtle scoop neck and tank design and hit her body just above the knee. The shortest dress on the list for sure, but the feather fringe detail was so stylish and innovative that she was definitely on the best-dressed list at this event.

Feathers only covered the bottom half of the dress so she wasn’t drowning in the dramatic texture and just gave a little pop of something to become a talked-about piece for all the right reasons. The shift dress style means that your curves are hidden behind fabric so the shorter dress cut is the perfect way to wear the style so as to avoid drowning in fabric, especially a petite frame like Kerry’s.

We have just the styles to help you recreate these looks:

No Pictures, Please!

We have had so much fun today unlocking all the style inspiration from some of Calvin Klein’s most iconic red carpet dresses. Hopefully, you have found at least one or two style details that inspired you for your future parties and found some great dresses as well!

Style and fashion is such a personal and different experience for every woman and above all always make sure to mimic styles and designs that speak to your true self. If it doesn’t scream you don’t worry, we have so many other designs to choose from you are sure to find the one!

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