Welcome to America: Raf Simons’ debut collection for Calvin Klein
Red, white and blue
The newly-appointed Chief Creative Officer was inspired by American youth for the Calvin Klein Fall 2017 collection
Despite the 10 AM start time, 205 W 39—Calvin Klein's global headquarters—was packed with key editors, stylists and influencers. Not forgetting, the NYFW runway show was attended by Simons' famous friends including Brooke Shields, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Millie Bobby Brown and Kate Bosworth, just to name a few. Well, this came as no surprise; the much-anticipated runway show marked Raf Simons' first Calvin Klein collection after all.
The newly-appointed Chief Creative Officer invited artist, Sterling Ruby to imagine America in an art installation. Within the showspace, the artist was given free reign by Simons to imagine a work appropriate for the brand: he strung up an assortment of miscellaneous, colourful items such as mops, tin pails and a big denim square. Simons, who is Belgian, also imagined the Land of The Free, having the models strut down the runway with David Bowie's "This Is Not America" playing in the background. Political statement or not, you decide.
Simons worked with the Creative Director of the brand, Peiter Mulier on the Fall 2017 women's and menswear collection. Paying homage to America and inspired by the youth, the collection is a celebration of diversity. The collection saw a mix of marching band uniforms, plastic coated protection, power broker tailoring, antique quilting and western wear. The cohabiting, cross culture of clothing find new forms, evoking a unique kind of parade. Simons said, "It reflects the environment." He added, "All of these different people with different styles and dress codes. It's the future, the past, Art Deco, the city, the American West...all of these things and none of these things. Not one era, not one thing, not one look. It is the coming together of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself. It is the unique beauty and emotion of America."
Of course, denim plays a huge part of western wear and the Calvin Klein brand. While jeans have not registered with the fashion crowd for years, Simons may just have resurrected everyone's interest with the matching denim looks. Although he was inspired by young America, the collection wasn't, well, all that young. Exhibit: the tailored pantsuits, transparent tops and underboob-flaunting dresses. However, the collection will appeal across gender as Simons presented his-and-hers versions—almost making us want to give couple dressing a go.
For more of the Calvin Klein Fall 2017 collection, scroll through all the looks in our gallery below: