February 14, 2017
NYFW: Today’s America by Calvin Klein
This is not America. David Bowie’s voice immediately warms up the room, flooding it with a rush of memories. And as the White Duke sings, it’s a reflection on America – the starting point for the new Calvin Klein created by Raf Simons in one of the most hotly anticipated co-ed style debut shows of the season. The label that has made brand building and minimalism part of its DNA, together with the more conceptual style developed over the past decade. Today was a cerebral crash unveiled through visual poetry. “It reflects what’s around us,” Raf Simons, Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein, explained to MFF, “all these different people, with different styles and dress codes. It’s the future, the past, art deco, the city, the American west. All and none of these, it isn’t an era, or a thing, it’s not one look. It is the union of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself. It is the unique beauty and feeling of America.” An inspiration transmitted through the show space - a parade and the artwork of Sterling Ruby, a trilogy, the second part of which is housed in the brand’s offices, with the third part to be revealed in May. A parade, like a runway show, rich in suggestions, interpreted through new faces and the women who have accompanied the Belgian creative through years. The first silhouettes featured clean lines and contrasting colours. Mixing references. Striped like the uniform of a music band. Metal flower applications. Shirts and boots from the wild west reinterpreted, with the metal point engraved with the number 205, which also appeared on edge of turtle necks, it is the street number of the office in New York - where it all began. Banker style suits worn with provocative nude tops and knitted sleeves. Sleek black leather, shiny with a touch of Mapplethorpe. Feathers trapped in sci-fi dresses, the fur coat covered in a plastic outer layer – like a protective cover. Tone on tone jeans with turn ups, hyper graphic florals, micro checks that can be spotted in the food court or the waiting room at the law courts, from the banal to the science fiction, from urban to rural. “It’s like a film,” explained Pieter Mulier, the Creative Director of the Pvh owned brand who appeared at the end of the show with Simons. Walking through the rows of iconic faces, it was hard not to notice Gwyneth Paltrow with Julianne Moore and the unforgettable Lauren Hutton. The iconic Brooke Shields sitting in the front row and on the clothes: a stylized silhouette of the model and actress from a celebrated ad campaign for the brand was transformed into a big tag on the back of trousers. A link between the past and the future. Unforgettable as well, the slogan that sparked all the hype, “What comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing”.