Calvin Klein Fall 2017 is a Triumph for Raf Simons and American Fashion

Calvin Klein Fall 2017 is a Triumph for Raf Simons and American Fashion

The new creative director took his debut runway show to the true home of Calvin Klein.

The new creative director took his debut runway show to the true home of Calvin Klein.

Text: Jake Viswanath

In the grand scheme of New York Fashion Week this season, the most anticipated event was easily Raf Simons’s debut runway show as the newly appointed creative director of Calvin Klein. Given his history as a designer for his namesake brand and most recently Dior, Simons was expected to stun, but how he would take on such an iconic American brand as Calvin Klein remained a mystery until this morning.

Guests arriving at Calvin Klein’s headquarters at 205 West 39th Street (and civilians watching online) were greeted by a stunning set designed by Sterling Ruby, with stark metal buckets, bold streamers, and an assortment of space-age household items hanging from the rafters. Julianne Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Karlie Kloss, Brooke Shields, Millie Bobby Brown, and Anna Wintour (of course) were just some of the parade of celebrities that came out to support Simons’s debut.

Considering the importance of his debut, Simons mostly forwent top models in order to pull focus on the clothes, and what clothes they were. Raf gave Calvin Klein a bold yet streamlined makeover for the Fall 2017 collection, using sleek color-blocking patterns and monochrome suits in striking denim and leather. Long double-breasted coats had a major resurgence on the runway, shown in regal colors and timeless plaids.

But perhaps the most interesting moment of the show was when the collection got a little wild. Many outfits paired see-through fabric with bold spots of color, while other pieces embraced head-to-toe feathers. Many looks were complete with a plastic sheen outlining the outfit, adding a brilliantly cold and superficial touch to the overall warm nature of the clothing.

Remarkably, the designer did not simply bring prominent motifs from his brand to the Calvin Klein stage, nor did he rely on many classic characteristics from the iconic fashion house. He managed to completely reinvent both himself and Calvin Klein, setting a blazing path for one of fashion’s most innovative minds.

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