You have to applaud Raf Simon’s ability to grab viewers attention and his Calvin Klein FW18 show did more than that.
American Stock Exchange was reimagined into a post-apocalyptic barn decorated in Andy Warhol photographs, sculptures hanging from the ceiling and most note-worthy prop – 50,000 gallons of popcorn. The show notes listed words like ‘firefighter’, ‘cinema’, ‘civil’ followed by ‘war’ as well as ‘new’ followed by ‘world’.
With that we saw reflective strips found on firemen uniforms transferred to jackets and coats styled with rubber boots and hand knit balaclavas. Heavy duty outwear felt bold and masculine, but balanced with flowing skirts and pleated dresses. The silver jackets and dresses reminded of the foil wrappers you receive at the end of the marathon to regulate body temperature which added to the industrial feel of the collection.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, brooding ideas gave way to lighter notes which were found in floor length prairie skirts styled with oversized knits as well as sheer dresses and pastel coloured separates.
Raf Simons seeks inspiration in iconic movies – this time it was Safe, a 1995 Todd Haynes film starring Julianne Moore as California housewife that suffers unnamed environmental illnesses. Not the most positive outlook but the again last season’s collection included references to horror films like The Shining. Unnerving? Perhaps, but aren’t we always drawn to something dark and mysterious?