Feast Your Eyes on the New Calvin Klein

Iris Law for Burberry 2017.
We dissect the highlights of Raf Simons' debut.

By now, we've all had enough time to see the Instagram #frow shots and backstage previews from Calvin Klein's Autumn/Winter 2017 show, presented on Friday at New York Fashion Week.  This season marked new Artistic Director (and former Dior frontman) Raf Simons' runway debut for the iconic American brand, and to say that it was highly anticipated would be an understatement.

After watching the collection in motion, I was noticeably struck by the way, predictably, Raf has pushed Calvin Klein towards a stronger, more editorial aesthetic, guiding the brand into a high fashion domain.  Given his background as an avant-garde grunge designer under his eponymous menswear label, a minimalist at Jil Sander, and a master of spectacle for Dior, it should come as no surprise that his vision had such an impactful effect.  In fact, the combination of these various influences was on full display throughout the show by means of sharp, androgynous tailoring and strong prints that reminded us particularily of his most recent days at Dior.

What perhaps deserves the most attention however (or perhaps not, given that its understatedness is arguably normalizing), is the manner in which this collection truly had an ungendered point of view.  Combining the brand's menswear and womenswear lines into one show, Raf often paired identical pieces and even full looks on models of different gender identities, dismantling connotations of specific gender assignments from the clothes themselves.  Likewise, it is somewhat of a 'risk' for a commercial brand like Calvin Klein to #freethenipple, and yet this collection seemed to do it effortlessly.  In fact, the sheer sweaters and blouses shown alongside well-tailored, business-like cigarette pants, seemed to be devoid of sexualization at all, arguably a chief aim of the #freethenipple movement.  Men and women wore the same pieces, with the same results, and no visible effort to eroticize female 'nudity,' if it could even be classified as such.  It would be worth watching whether Raf will consider leading the fashion set in doing away with the 'menswear' and 'womenswear' labels altogether, especially given the fact that the collection was entirely aesthetically unified already.

We look forward to seeing more from one of fashion's favourite forces in seasons to come.  What did you think of this new direction for CK?

Main Images via @calvinklein
Read more: Peep Raf's first Calvin Klein collection, starring Milly Bobby Brown, then check out Helmut Lang's latest 90s inspired collaboration.

Tia Elisabeth Glista is the founding Editor in Chief of Couturesque Magazine.  She is also a textbook Taurus (ambitious, aesthetically-driven, very stubborn) who can at any given time be found listening to BANKS and looking at pictures of puppies.  Click here to follow her on Instagram. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think of this article?


I founded Couturesque Magazine when I was 15 years old because like many of my peers, I felt ignored and talked down to by all of the other teen fashion publications out there. I figured that at the end of the day, the people who knew the most about my generation, were the people who belonged to it. The fashion industry is becoming increasingly dependent on the creativity of younger voices who challenge the status quo and make us rethink what we wear and why we wear it. And that is exactly what Couturesque set out to celebrate - authenticity, intelligence, originality, and diversity... in other words, what makes Gen-Z tick. Fast-forward to 2016 and we now have a staff of more than a dozen fashion distruptors contributing to our daily content from all around the globe, 100K+ readers following us from Toronto to New York, to London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv, and a plethora of big-wig industry fans and collaborators. But what matters to us the most is the responsibility that our publication has to make a positive impact in the lives of those who come across it - we stand against retouching our photoshoots and we stand for sharing the beautiful, individual, complex voices of everyone, especially those who feel marginalized by mainstream fashion media. We hope that you love our site as much as we do and that you take the time to follow us (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Tumblr / Snapchat / YouTube) throughout our journey to make fashion accessible to the powerful young adults of today.

Tia Elisabeth Glista
Editor in Chief