NYFW18: Calvin Klein

BALACLAVAS, hi-vis, and survival blankets. Raf Simons collection for Calvin Klein celebrated modern-day American icons taking inspiration from firefighters and industrial workers. Set in the American Stock Exchange, Raf Simons transformed the location into a futuristic farm scene, complete with barn references and a floor made up of a sea of popcorn. Bizarre and bold, the collection included everything from balaclava knitwear, exposed underbreast and industrial metallic gloves up to the upper arm.


Made up of 64 looks, Raf Simons Aw18 collection touched upon many different themes in its exploration of runway-come-art installation show. A complex vision made even more so by the popcorn reference. Simons combined ruffle dresses, space goggles, metallic silver, tailored suits, thick knit, reflective details, animal-print patterns, as well as many other concepts, all in such a bold and meaningful manner that it became irresistibly cool and memorable.

Pushing the boundaries of the traditional minimalist and naked design of Calvin Klein, Raf Simons third show for the design house introduced a unique idea of what the American icon looks like in todays world of fury and tension. Despite the move away from previous collections neat and clean feel, the use of western styled shirts and quilting techniques, found in patchwork dresses and as an applique detail on a man’s shirt, were clear continuations of last season.

A bright orange overall with high vis and knee-high white patent cowboy boots opened the show and was followed by heavy outerwear, with some models wearing two coats, and others wearing heavy knitted jumpers over the top of oversized suit blazers. As the show progressed Road Runner and Wile. E Coyote, the Looney Tunes characters, featured on knitted jumpers, and airy chiffon frilled dresses graced the runway. These western references juxtaposed with the futuristic metallic outfits and industrial outwear alluded to a clash of new and old America. Referencing TV shows and with a room swarmed with popcorn suggested Simons wanted this to be a visual message as well as a fashion show for the audience.

Simons Calvin Klein collection got us thinking. Thinking about what the future holds for New York fashion week, for fashion, and for the world as a whole. Beautifully crafted, and a mass of textures colours and ideas, Calvin Kleins AW18 show was powerful and relevant.

by Lily Rimmer


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