CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC
SPRING 2018 RUNWAY SHOW

SWEET DREAMS

An abstraction, of horrors and dreams. The Spring 2018 CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC collection, devised by Chief Creative Officer Raf Simons, takes its inspiration from cinema, from the dream factory of Hollywood and its depictions of both an American nightmare and the all-powerful American dream.

Thriller heroines, heroes, and antiheroes. The aesthetic codes of movie protagonists are endlessly remixed, their meanings given new interpretation and celebration.

Drawn from the same source material but created separately, Sterling Ruby’s site-specific installation for the Spring runway show underscores these themes. The work uses as its base the installation from the Fall 2017 show, just as the collection builds on the foundation established by its predecessor—a new wardrobe of American archetypes.

The artwork is titled Sophomore—in essence an adjective, referring to a second iteration or version, but in practice a noun linked intrinsically to the idealized American teenager. It underscores the strength of the cultural iconography of Americana, which constantly inspires Raf Simons’ CALVIN KLEIN.

The Sterling Ruby installation functions as a panorama, a context, for a collection that plays inherently with recontextualization—utilizing “the clues of horror,” in the words of the artist. Jack-o’- lanterns become patchwork flags, and axes are suspended from cheerleading pom-poms. At a distance, the silhouettes of the latter assemblages resemble flowers or a forest of trees. Horror transformed into beauty.

The “clues” of horror, but also of dreams, inspire the collection. Here, there is never any horror without beauty. Cinema’s distinct visual vocabulary of symbols and signs is cut up, recontextualized, and reassembled to create a plurality of dress. Multiple signifiers of the tropes of thrillers are combined in single outfits, creating new assemblages. They are “edited”—like a movie—to define a fresh narrative.

Mid-century American couture silhouettes are rendered industrial, reiterated in nylon, rubber specially molded in Ohio, and hand- painted leather. Lumberjack checks are used for tailored men’s suits. Pom-poms are reappropriated for fringed dresses, handbags, or keyrings. And nightgowns become evening gowns. Material surfaces are disturbed, distressed, rubber-stamped, faded, and splattered. The collection’s dominant colors are safety orange, yellow, black, overwhelmingly red.

Fishnet, silk slips, rubber against skin. These reference a corporeality that speaks of both sexuality and mortality. The lineage of these movies can be traced back to urban myths, to Puritan cautionary tales warning adolescents of the perils of moral transgression and the dangers of youthful sexuality—and the history of CALVIN KLEIN is tied up with transgressive sexuality.

The quintessence of CALVIN KLEIN’s identity can be discovered, again and again. Like these movies, CALVIN KLEIN is also an American institution, a symbol in and of itself. It reflects one facet of that always-inspiring American Dream. A pair of the brand’s iconic perfume bottles—ETERNITY and OBSESSED—become totemic charms, hanging from belts and handbags like tools, weapons, or trophies.

In exploring America, Raf Simons found Andy Warhol—an artist whose work has helped define both the contemporary identity of American culture and also the world’s perceptions of it. In a unique collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, this collection incorporates a selection of Warhol artworks as placement screen prints. The pieces feature portraits of Warhol intimate and art collector Sandra Brant (1971) and the movie star Dennis Hopper (1971). The latter wrote, directed, and starred in the film Easy Rider (1969), which has come to define contemporary notions of American machismo. The curation also includes Knives (1981–82), Electric Chair (1964–65), and Ambulance Disaster (1963–64) from Warhol’s Death and Disaster series. This body of work depicts real-life horror and trauma but transforms them into images that resemble film stills—here they are laid alongside Brant and Hopper, the muses of the collection. Horror is juxtaposed, always, with dreams. It always becomes beautiful. Good always triumphs.

“It’s about American horror and American beauty,” says Raf Simons. “Fashion tries to hide the horror and embrace only beauty. But they are both a part of life. This collection is a celebration of that: a celebration of American life.”

Read more

look 1 of 84 look 2 of 84 look 3 of 84 look 4 of 84 look 5 of 84 look 6 of 84 look 7 of 84 look 8 of 84 look 9 of 84 look 10 of 84 look 11 of 84 look 12 of 84 look 13 of 84 look 14 of 84 look 15 of 84 look 16 of 84 look 17 of 84 look 18 of 84 look 19 of 84 look 20 of 84 look 21 of 84 look 22 of 84 look 23 of 84 look 24 of 84 look 25 of 84 look 26 of 84 look 27 of 84 look 28 of 84 look 29 of 84 look 30 of 84 look 31 of 84 look 32 of 84 look 33 of 84 look 34 of 84 look 35 of 84 look 36 of 84 look 37 of 84 look 38 of 84 look 39 of 84 look 40 of 84 look 41 of 84 look 42 of 84 look 43 of 84 look 44 of 84 look 45 of 84 look 46 of 84 look 47 of 84 look 48 of 84 look 49 of 84 look 50 of 84 look 51 of 84 look 52 of 84 look 53 of 84 look 54 of 84 look 55 of 84 look 56 of 84 look 57 of 84 look 58 of 84 look 59 of 84 look 60 of 84 look 61 of 84 look 62 of 84 look 63 of 84 look 64 of 84 look 65 of 84 look 66 of 84 look 67 of 84 look 68 of 84 look 69 of 84 look 70 of 84 look 71 of 84 look 72 of 84 look 73 of 84 look 74 of 84 look 75 of 84 look 76 of 84 look 77 of 84 look 78 of 84 look 79 of 84 look 80 of 84 look 81 of 84 look 82 of 84 look 83 of 84 look 84 of 84

Featuring works by Andy Warhol, produced in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation and Hopper Goods, LLC.

CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC RUNWAY SHOW

The CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC Runway Show Live on calvinklein.com. See photos, video and more from the New York Fashion Week show. For more about the brand, please click here. For more CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC runway shows please click here. For more CALVIN KLEIN news and events please click here. For more about Raf Simons, please click here.