Screenprinting Spring 2018 CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC

A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of select styles from the Spring collection, featuring iconic works by Andy Warhol.

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Screenprinting Spring 2018 CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC

The Spring 2018 CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collection featured a selection of styles silk-screened with original artworks by Andy Warhol, as part of the debut of CALVIN KLEIN’s unique and ongoing partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

In creative continuity with the work of the Pop titan, the items were printed using the same techniques that Warhol and colleagues like Gerard Malanga employed at his storied downtown clubhouse and studio, The Factory. A cornerstone of Warhol’s practice dating as far back as 1962, silkscreening yielded many of his most immortal images: luridly glamorous portraits of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe in super-saturated Technicolor hues, giant blooms, and countless Campbell’s soup cans.

For CALVIN KLEIN’s Chief Creative Officer Raf Simons, it was the voyeuristically macabre images of Warhol’s ‘Death and Disaster’ series, as well as photos of the artist’s confidantes Dennis Hopper and Sandra Brant, which captivated for Spring 2018. Printed by a New York-based team of artisans inside CALVIN KLEIN’s Garment District atelier, the resulting runway pieces gave new life to the intricate printing processes used by Warhol. One screen is created per color, sandwiching together elements of the image before the final can be achieved. Printing on a garment as opposed to a flat canvas yields unpredictable results: breaks in the paint where creases form or a pocket sits. In this respect, each garment is unique.

"The reason I'm painting this way is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that whatever I do and do machine-like is what I want to do,” Warhol once remarked. Post-modern ahead of his time, the almost production-line quality of silkscreening appealed to him in its immediacy and uniformity: is it art if any tangible presence of the artist’s hand has been removed, if orthodox notions of “skill” have been eliminated from the equation? With his own background in advertising, for Warhol the traditionally commercial practice of silkscreening became yet another means to create at the crossroads of art and industry—elevating the everyday to more rarified realms.

Hand-printed, the resulting garments from the Spring 2018 CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC collection are wearable works of art, a 21st century continuation of Warhol’s dialogue on commerce and creativity. See a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their creation in the featured short film.

behind the scenes: The silkscreening process

Featuring artwork by Andy Warhol ©/®/™ The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.; ™ Hopper

Featuring artwork by Andy Warhol ©/®/™ The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.; ™ Hopper