‘’Clap clap’’ was applauding the crowd invited to Raf Simons’ debut collection as Calvin Klein’s new creative director on February 10. The highly expected show was also broadcast live on Facebook for thousands of Simons’ fans and detractors to tune in and discover his collection brought to life as David Bowie’s ‘This is not America’ was playing.
And it was a celebration. Of all aspects of life and fashion but especially of the designer’s genius. Here are 3 more reasons why we should celebrate Antwerp-issued Raf Simons’ appointment as Calvin Klein’s new creative boss.
The fall/winter 17 collection of Calvin Klein is exciting for both genders as men and women both walked the catwalk. Men and women, walking one after another, on the same path, pursuing the same goal – that of selling us dream until the collection hits the shelves in August – in the smoothest of harmony. Now, you think that sounds a little utopian? Not for so long. Many brands such as Gucci under Michele follow the reunification of womenswear and menswear collections, and Calvin Klein added their contribution to the cause this season.
But, oh, you meant not-ready-to-happen-in-the-real-world by ‘utopian’? Here, there’s a true sense of gender equality that is present in this collection and it speaks through the clothes themselves. With women appropriating the masculine vestiaire since forever, and men having dropped the so-said feminine vestiaire since almost-the-same, it appeared for a long time that the only way for us ladies to stand next to boys in front of the great God of Fashion was to rock couture tuxedo pants. You certainly noticed that things are changing recently and for the faithfuls to truly understand that new rule of equality between all genders in fashion is this powerful example: the see-through knit tops introduced earlier this month. Mesh and knit, a torso that is nude – be it feminine or masculine – and sleeves that are warm and colorful. No judgement of no nipple. But also denim-all-over silhouettes that drew a modern portrait of unisex fashion, something transcending the nature of your sexual attributes, all for the passion of denim. So many ways for Raf Simons to explain us that we should all be in this fight together.
CALVIN KLEIN JEANS
Speaking of denim, it’s a prominent piece of the Calvin Klein legacy and this collection just grew the first fruits of Simons’ denim work for the American giant. And I know that you know what this means. If your heart often skips a beat lately, let me diagnose your symptoms: you are just realizing, like many fans, that you will soon be able to shop Raf Simons at an affordable price. Because let’s face the facts, the Calvin Klein Collection shown during fashion week is not for everyone to shop. It’s like Chanel, or Prada: you see it, you enter a phase of excitement and fascination, you dream then it turns into a nightmare when you check your balance and you wake up sweaty and in tears. As for the Belgium genius, he was given the keys to all dors at CK and will then, consequently, be designing the jeans line, yay! My friends and I desperately needed new jeans but since the announcement we just couldn’t shop CK anymore, we had – we still have – to wait for Raf’s collection to hit the e-shops… and I know we’re not alone in this agony. I hear you say ”Jeans are Jeans so Raf’s will be jeans.” Well, Stan Smiths are Stan Smiths yet we still paid nearly 300 bucks just to have a little R on the side., didn’t we?
The comeback of America
Last but not surely not least, what is Calvin Klein if not American? The brand established in 1968 by Calvin Klein himself is, like Ralph Lauren, the essence of American fashion. With this collection, Simons expresses this idea with more than a zest of cool and lay-back attitude. The clothes themselves represent a feature of the American society and history, a melting pot of cultures and references that make the strength of the most powerful country on Earth: diversity.
And by appropriating peaceful codes such as the white bandana launched by Business of Fashion a few weeks ago, Simons makes Calvin Klein take a political turn, which isn’t really about saying what’s right and what’s wrong, but more about offering a brighter definition of America’s identity in times when the country’s morals are unfortunately at stake. A better, more realistic and peaceful way to make America (’s fashion) great again.
Below, some other pictures of my favorite looks, all courtesy of Vogue.com. Can you think of other reasons why the world looks a little brighter since Raf’s collection? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!