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PARADE

Imagine you are sat inside an artwork by Sterling Ruby; this work was completed at the invitation of the Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein, Raf Simons. It is part of Simons’ curatorial approach to the brand. Here, he gave the artist Sterling Ruby free rein to imagine a work appropriate for Calvin Klein: Sterling Ruby imagined America.

This permanent, total-room installation is part of a trilogy by the artist for Calvin Klein. Part two will be revealed later in the day in the same building, on Floor 12 of 205 W 39 NYC — Calvin Klein headquarters. Part three will be unveiled in May of this year at another location.

What was presented within this artwork on February 10 ’17, was the debut ready-to-wear collection by Raf Simons for Calvin Klein. This collection was completed with the Creative Director of the brand, Pieter Mulier. Featuring women’s and menswear, Fall-Winter ’17 is itself an homage to America.

“It reflects the environment,” says Raf Simons. “All of these different people with different styles and dress codes. It’s the future, the past, Art Deco, the city, the American West…all of these things and none of these things. Not one era, not one thing, not one look. It is the coming together of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself. It is the unique beauty and emotion of America.”

In the collection, one material impacts another and one style impacts another — often in the same silhouette. Cohabiting, cross cultures of clothing find new forms: not the old, not the new, but the necessary. The collection is a celebration of this diversity.

With its mix of marching band uniforms, plastic coated protection, power broker tailoring, antique handcrafted quilting, workwear and western wear it is a unique kind of parade that is evoked. It is one that finds equal merit in folk and function, food court and courtroom, from the humdrum to sci-fi, the urban to the rural. It is a romantic and filmic outsiders’ eye view of the uniqueness of America.

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