Calvin Klein 205W39NYC F/W 2018
Ever since Belgium designer Raf Simons has taken over Calvin Klein one year ago he has established a new mantra for the house: The Raf works in mysterious ways. When Calvin Klein before was all about image marketing, which aimed at people’s desires and sex drive now it’s all about the subconscious and the angst and horror that lies under the surface. This is a very American phenomenon where the teenage mass shootings and other atrocities generally take place in perfect suburban settings. Simons has set out to make this undercurrent visible via his collections. And that’s why his clothes are always interesting and thought-provoking because Simons channels Zeitgeist. He cannot help it and lives in the now. You can clearly see that living stateside for more than a year now has had a profound effect on him. He flirts with American pop culture and appropriates it, as he sees fit be it a cliché or not. His latest offering was a line –up of over size tailoring and protective firemen’s coats that you would expect to wear after a major fire or another chemical hazard took place in your neighborhood. But again, hand knitted woolen skullcaps, the now signature marching band uniform outfits and the often sexy and see through dresses that barely covered the female models’ breasts gave the show a warm spin and soft Americana. Just like the soundtrack from scary throbbing techno to Simon & Garfunkel. Simons creates tension. At the end a loop of Bowie’s This is not America was sneaked into the soundtrack making it his shows unofficial hymn as it was the third time.
Simons is doing an excellent job with his massive color-dyed treated leather coats that we have seen in previous collections. This time he layered them under neon color striped firemen’s jackets for a cool street vibe.
Of course, their silhouette identifies designers. While at Dior he was more restricted and had to adhere to the bar jacket codes, chez Klein he has fully ushered in his oversize, floor length sweeping coat silhouette. Here, it was seen on men and women.
From early Raf men’s shows to Sander and Dior days, Simons has always loved long tight gloves covering the entire arm. Often as in silver utilitarian styles or in fine white hand painted leather.
And did we mention it yet?
Yes, the show invitation was a bag of pop corn and the show space was filled entirely with popcorn. But we are sure you have already seen this on social media.
Ralph Lauren Spring 2018 Ready-To-Wear
The fashion world is a brutal place at the moment where the old rules are thrown over board and nobody knows what the new rules will be. Every designer is fighting for his or her place in the new digital reality to stay alive and relevant. “See now, buy now”, digital transformation, DNA collections, athleisure everywhere, casualization and norm core confuse and frighten the establishment. So what is one of the biggest names out there doing? Ralph Lauren has decided to go back to the roots. In what we call his second turn around collection after last season’s classic car inspired collection shown in his Bedford garage, Lauren looked deep inside himself to come up with his latest clothes. He recreated his Jamaican Montego Bay vacation home as set and let the sunshine breeze in his offerings by showing the most colorful collection he ever did. Will it work? With new chief marketing officer Jonathan Bottomley at the helm to tell the story via all available digital channels and working on getting directly to the consumer with Lauren’s authentic yarn, we feel this might be a winning formula.
Rainbow colored gowns at a Lauren show? We haven’t seen that often or the deep blue of the sea as runway and on the opening looks? Lauren showed his deft hand at injecting life and color here.
Lauren is the man who probably spends more time than any other designer on millimeters. Is the lapel wide enough or maybe not skinny enough? He worries about that and it shows as all his models are fit to the millimeter and nothing else. Hence, unforgiving body types do not make it through his exacting casting process, which would be refreshing. Still, his super fitted jackets on women and men impress. Using a nautical theme for this sea inspired collection proved to be the right choice.
What Lauren is really trying to do?
Getting straight to the consumer is what Lauren concluded will help him to remedy his doldrums turnover situation. Hence, he hired Jonathan Bottomley from Vice Media who knows a thing or two about surfing digital waves as chief marketing officer. “To bring Ralph’s authentic vision right to the consumer is what we are working very hard on now,” explained the new man in the executive suite clad in a Purple label, well fitting suit to Achtung Digital backstage.
The secret for success?
The show felt credible with its opulent Jamaican set and brought a fresh island breeze to the overall mood.