Pret-a-Reporter

Raf Simons' First Calvin Klein Show Was A Star-Spangled Hit

Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic

The inspiration, the art installation, the front row guests and the full video of the show.

The Look: 

Titled "Parade," the collection was an homage to America, warts and all, from remixed band uniforms to sharp power broker tailoring, sturdy denim and patchworked coats to shrink-wrapped feather glamour dresses that encased the models in plastic as if they were shiny toys.

The Front Row: 
Calvin Klein By Appointment campaign stars Millie Bobby Brown and Abbey Lee Kershaw, as well as Naomie Harris, Kate Bosworth, Sofia Coppola, Lauren Hutton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Alexa Chung and noted Raf Simons fan A$AP Rocky were spotted front row, as was former Calvin Klein poster child Brooke Shields, whose iconic denim ad from 1980 ("Nothing comes between me and my Calvins") was repurposed as a label on the waistband of a denim look.

The Message:

A political one. Michel Gaubert remixed music by David Bowie, from the melancholy song "This Is Not America" (1985) through to his final compositions for the Broadway show "Lazarus," along with other nostalgic American songs. 

The Art Installation:

The art installation included remnants of flags, tattered banners, swatches of denim and hanging threads of yarn by L.A. artist Sterling Ruby, a graduate of the Pasadena Art Center College of Design. Simons also collaborated with Ruby while he was at Dior. Sterling's work "deals with issues related to violence and the pressures within society and art history." Installed in the lobby of the Calvin Klein offices on West 39th street, the installation will be permanent.

The Reaction:

Simons successfully hit the reset button on the iconic brand, turning out smart tailoring and coats (a mainstay at Calvin Klein since the beginning), some with covetable sweater-knit sleeves, as well as cheeky sportswear (those Brooke Shields jeans, the pep squad knits, oversized leather jackets with floral embroideries and the cowboy boots) and red carpet stunners. "I'm happy, it just made me so happy," said stylist Elizabeth Stewart.


 

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