This New York fashion season, unfortunately for all other designers, will be Raf’s. After signing on the dotted line with Calvin Klein last August, the fashion world has been on the edge of it’s seat waiting to see what this influential designer will do for this very American brand. Raf Simons is known for his take on menswear, but his respectful and significant stint as creative director for Dior cemented him as one the great designers of our time. His debut for Calvin Klein saw the understated designer step out in an appropriately understated way.
Calvin Klein has always been about minimalism underscored with an edge of seduction. The collection Simons presented fitted into this tradition with crisp, clean lines, solid colours and shear fabrications. Americanisms were explored including Wall Street suits, cowboy boots, colourful band uniforms and varsity jackets, and most interestingly, plastic covered couches. The latter was translated into a second skin that was cast on top of plaid trench coats, dresses and fur coats and strangely gave the collection a nostalgic nod. Denim was also given the Simon’s touch with the looks echoing it’s roots as workwear rather than the Calvin Klein denim tradition of streetwear.
It definitely wasn’t a blazing triumph of a debut, not in the same way as his dramatic entrance into the world of Dior. However this is Klein, and a cool, calm entrance was what was required, and what Simons delivered nearly perfectly.