Scene setting: Raf Simons’ knack for bringing together nostalgic, cult aspects of American pop culture has become a clear signature for Calvin Klein. This season, guests at the runway show were disoriented by the transformation of the label’s 205 West 39th Street headquarters, which was awash with crimson carpet, seating and bright red lights. It was only when the show commenced, with digital screens that enveloped the space projected with a familiar ocean scene complete with lapping waves and a solitary female swimmer, that the familiar strains of John Williams’ theme for Jaws began to indicate the 1970s, surf-inspired joyride to come.
Sound bite: ‘The landscape of America – literal, and psychological – inspires Calvin Klein. A journey through America leads, inevitably, to the edge of the landscape: the beach. At the beach there is this incredible idea of beauty, but also a tension – between land and ocean, a feeling of two worlds meeting, maybe colliding. There’s a sense of the unexpected – and always, a temptation. For me, Jaws perfectly exemplifies these notions.’
Mood board: Filled with form-fitting matte black layers, peplum panels on skirts reminiscent of wetsuits being folded over, a heavy dose of tie-dye and the inclusion of nautical hardware, the fantastical collection displayed a creative array of craftsmanship that, while in service to the theme, still translated into clothes one would want to wear. Intricate ruched details on silk tops and jagged, asymmetric hems on sharply pleated skirts brought an exciting edge to the collection, while still complementing the label’s mainstays such as oversized tailored blazer jackets, fuzzy knitwear and sharply sculpted footwear.