Our beloved fashion journalist Cathy Horyn called the Autumn Winter 2017/18 Calvin Klein collection, "the most anticipated fashion show in decades" and trust us, this was not some easy tricks to fool you, some meaningless words just to try and impress. Oh no, it was much more than that! This Calvin Klein collection, the very first by Raf Simons & his Team (Pieter Mulier, Mathieu Blazy...) presented in New York City is the One that will change the face of American Fashion, the one that will redesign American luxury and disrupt the New York Fashion Week forever. This collection simply knows no precedent.
This is a brand new era for American fashion and for the CK brand itself, the iconic minimalist label, a cornerstone in US Pop culture; let's be honest, Calvin Klein is much more than clothes or underwear, it is an iconography, it is Kate Moss & Marky Mark for instance. In a space permanently commissioned by artist Sterling Ruby (a dystopian work of art entitled "Sterling Ruby Imagined America"), to the sound of movie songs coming from iconic works such as Virgin Suicides, American Graffiti, Blue Velvet, Midnight Cowboy or David Bowie's This Is Not America, and in front of a stellar audience, Raf is getting political and is giving his very own vision of what is America "the coming together of different characters and different individuals", as said the show notes. This is a collection intertwining America's history and the CK one (established in 1968, Raf Simons's birth year): Past, Present & Future, iconic silhouettes, iconic characters in US history (cowboys, Wall Street bankers, housewives, college boys & girls, Amish...). In only one collection, Raf, Pieter & all the team are revamping American Fashion. Nowadays, America's future seems uncertain & dark but the brand's one seems brighter than ever.
Whether Donald Trump & all his henchmen like it or not, America is all about diversity. This is, in our opinion, the very definition of America. This collection is just like the country it has taken its inspiration from, diverse, a ravishing, beautiful, fascinating melting pot. So it makes total sense to find both men & women more or less sporting the same outfits and revamping the idea we could have of America. American sportswear, brilliantly but quite literally mastered by Tommy Hilfiger, is given "Margielesque" vibes here; a mix of couture & sportswear with the sheer tops, the knitted sleeves, the racing stripes, the tracksuits. Diversity also lies in the mix of couture savoir-faire with low and profane materials: wool, fur, feathers & leather covered in plastic. This particular point participates in the arty vibes of this collection. Art is everywhere! From the setting to the "couture" pieces (the "by appointment" ones), abstract expressionist works of art, unique pieces like the plastic sheer dress adorned by feathers or the plastic double-breasted yellow fur coat! Undeniably, the showpiece of this collection worn by the catwalk Queen, Julia Nobis. There is a mesmerizing sense of craft here, in the quilted art-deco coats reminding us of the American way of making patchworks, in the Western-inspired uniforms paired with a simple polo-neck, in the total denim looks (quite Elvis Presley by Andy Warhol), in the intriguing proportions of the leather jackets (looking like denim ones), in the sleeveless tops with colorful lapels or in the quite masculine proportions of the Wall-Street banker suits (worn with cowboy boots). Very diverse sources of inspiration but at the end of the day, the result is strikingly & powerfully coherent!
Pictures by Willy Vanderperre from the Calvin Klein AW17 lookbook
Words by Yann Sackville-West & Charles Margueritte
Follow W.A.R.M. on Instagram
Follow W.A.R.M. on Instagram