Raf Simons epitomizes the present and translates it onto Calvin Klein’s 205W39NYC S/S 18 runway.
While designer labels like Gucci and Moncler look back to the 70s and 80s for inspiration, Belgian visionary Raf Simons — also Calvin Klein’s Chief Creative Officer — draws references to an “all-American dream” to discover new meaning and reinvent new dress codes.
The ‘all-American dream’ celebrates movie protagonists that play the role of thriller heroes and antiheroes. Dissecting signifiers of both the good and the bad, Simons explores a darker side of American culture with trauma, adding, “fashion tries to hide the horror and embrace only beauty. But they are both a part of life.” Calvin Klein’s Spring/ Summer collection is a celebration of that— the American life.
Simons paints this narrative with an eerie, whimsical-like backdrop installation by artist Ruby Sterling, setting off a mysterious disposition as soon as guests enter the space.
Calvin Klein S/S 18 kicked off with models decked in mid-century cowboy silhouettes, radiating in a top-to-toe satin sheen; lumberjack checks were adopted in tailored menswear suits and leather materials were splattered with faded paint strokes against feisty reds, royal blues and hazard orange ensembles, a nod to Calvin Klein’s identity of sexuality and mortality.
Further exploring American culture, Simons worked with pop culture sensation Andy Warhol to have selected works screen-printed onto vests and trousers— giving new definition to the contemporary aesthetic of American machismo.