Calvin Klein Spring 2018: Raf Simons’ American Dream

Raf Simons’ vision for Calvin Klein is to create collections that will revive American culture bazed on characteristic design elements of his own work as well as of the founder of the fashion house. For his debut, last February, he focused on jeans, cowboy boots and shirts. Now, for the Spring/Summer 2018 collection, he is inspired by American artists and cinema. The sense of terror that thrillers evoke and the concept of the “American Dream” are the conceptual basis for a collection that celebrates life through beauty and horror. That is why we see different materials on the garments and outfits. Continuing the work he had presented the previous season, artist Sterling Ruby created installations that decorated the venue of the show corresponding to the attitude of the Calvin Klein 205W39NYC label.

Those who follow Simons’ career in the fashion world, know that he is a designer who loves art and photography prints on clothing. For his new collection he chose to work in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, to print Andy Warhol portraits of the art collector Sandra Brant and movie star Dennis Hopper on sleeveless t-shirts and dresses. Simons also re-appropriated other pieces created by the famous artist like Knives, Electric Chair and Ambulance Disaster. Through this choice, the designer wanted to rediscover modern American culture, adding pop-art elements to Calvin Klein’s heritage. The most impressive component in the collection were the 50s silhouettes which we have seen him use before, while at Dior and Jil Sander, but this time the designer took a risk and selected fabrics like nylon, leather, tulle, lace, net and plastic to marry by juxtaposing haute-couture and sportswear aesthetics.

The collection could be characterized as bold since it doesn’t remind us so much of spring and it is filled with opposing elements, but let’s not forget that creating provoking collections is what distinguished Raf Simons. 

by Sotiris Kaberis