​pervy macs and cowboy tailoring: five things to know about raf simons’s calvin klein debut

A$AP Rocky, Millie Bobby Brown, Sofia Coppola, and more watch as Raf delivers a sequel to his own label’s love letter to the America that lives on in our dreams.

by Charlotte Gush
10 February 2017, 5:51pm

At undoubtedly the most anticipated fashion debut of the season — and perhaps the biggest since his similarly high-profile arrival at Dior — the industry sat on the edge of its seat while Belgian fashion design megastar Raf Simons presented his debut collection for US heavyweight Calvin Klein. A continuation of his eponymous label's love letter to America, the collection prized cinematic ideas of cowboys, college sports stars, and dreamy romantics, all with the subversive edge that we know and love from Raf. Here are five things you need to know about the show: 

The soundtrack
Opening and closing with the music of another New York transplant, David Bowie, the track selected is "This Is Not America" — surely a poignant acknowledgement of how unrecognizable the American Dream has become under the rule of President Trump. The feeling of all-American unease builds with the use of Air's "Suicide Underground," from the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides, John Barry's "Midnight Cowboy" and Roy Orbison's "In Dreams."

The new erogenous zones
All hail the underboob! On the catwalk, Lineisy Montero wore a very high waist pencil skirt and a tailored, underboob-revealing crop top with a very-Raf sporty stripe fold-down panel. Elsewhere, chests were bared under sheer chiffon tops with varsity knit jumper sleeves. We first got a sneak peek (pun intended) at the style when Raf released his Calvin Klein By Appointment campaign last month, which featured 14 bespoke styles in order to demonstrate the expanding of the brand's by-appointment service from solely celebrity clients to all customers. 

The front row
After appearing in the By Appointment campaign, Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown sat front row alongside A$AP Rocky, Sofia Coppola, Julianne Moore, Diane Von Furstenberg, Abbey Lee, and loads more. Another notable appearance was by Pieter Mulier, Raf's right hand man (who featured heavily in the Dior and I film), who came out with Raf to take a bow at the end of the show.

The cowboy tailoring
Nothing says U.S.A more than sending cowboy-tailored double denim down the runway. The blue jean jackets came with pointed shoulder panels or pockets and contrast stitching, worn with wide cut jeans over shining silver-tipped cowboy boots. Raf's use of color was exemplified by the similarly cut shirt and trouser versions, where tomato red was paired with dark sky blue and burgundy, and Raf's sense of subversion was flexed with the black, all-leather looks.

The pervy rain macs
Grey and brown check overcoats are given a haute-seedy edge with clear PVC overlayers that extend past the wool cuff and hems, and slip dresses are given either a rose-printed PVC coating, or a black chiffon mourning veil. A few more joyful versions saw little fireworks of brightly tipped feathers leap out from under the clear PVC. A collection to cover all our emotions in this new American reality.


Text Charlotte Gush

New York
Calvin Klein
Raf Simons
fall/winter 17
autumn/winter 17