Friday, September 8, 2017

Calvin Klein Spring 2018

In a hall littered with discarded pom poms hanging from the ceiling, Raf Simons and Pieter Mulier presented their hotly anticipated second collection for Calvin Klein, blowing the door wide open for New York Fashion Week. Simons has been crowned what some would call, 'the savior of of American fashion' and he hasn't failed to deliver. His first collection at Calvin Klein breathed new life into the classic American tropes, including denim, cowboy boots of Spaghetti westerns and the 1950s dinner uniform. These motifs still linger, but are tempered by layers and then there's the introduction of new elements, including Andy Warhol prints. On paper, it has the makings of an upbeat and kitsch collection, however, there was a distinctively Spring 2018 was equal parts American dream meet American Horror Story.

One particular fringed cocktail dress mimicked the cheap plastic of a cheerleader's pom poms in blood red. The result was both delightful and yet unmistakably dark. The reason for Simons' recent attraction to horror and gore? Like everyone else on the planet, a current obsession with Game of Thrones is largely to thank for the fashion phenomenon. But it's more than that, the team were well researched before presenting this runway sensation. Peroxide blonds wore slinky nightgowns made from gauze and rubber, simultaneously referencing women imagined by Alfred Hitchcock, as well as Sissy Spacek starring in the feature film, Carrie. Alongside the pom poms were glistening buckets, another nod to the climactic prom scene from Stephen King's novel turned movie.

The anticipation for Simons latest offering was palpable at 205 West 39th Street, with a long list of celebrity A-listers sitting front row and counting down til 8pm, where the show was set in motion. By all accounts, Simons has lived up to expectations, however, he's also embraced risk noting that fashion has been quick to embrace the spectator's expectations. It's that very pressure which is likely to have led to his departure from Dior, but in America, he's able to take risks. While these don't seem likely to pay-off, take for example the sheer nightgowns in Warhol prints and waterproof nylon dresses, the experimentation and thought is nonetheless delightful. In a country where there seems to be so much turmoil, both internal and external in a global sense it's nice to have something to celebrate and uphold as being democratically and creatively American. 

*All photos via Imaxtree

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