• Text Lakeisha Goedluck
  • 12th September 2018

Shark attack

After drawing upon Todd Hayne’s 1995 thriller Safe to present a range literally steeped in popcorn and rife with firefighter overalls for FW18, there was much anticipation surrounding Raf Simon’s latest chapter in his blockbuster Calvin Klein series.

This time around, it was Steven Spielberg’s seminal 1975 horror Jaws and Mike Nichols’ satirical-yet-seductive The Graduate (1967) which would influence Simons’ vision. “Both [films] represent transgression, the idea of the predator, and a fundamental questioning of authority – a rebellion that is quintessentially American,” read the designer’s notes. For a show which took place seventeen years to the day since the terrorist attack on the city’s World Trade Center, this sentiment seemed entirely fitting.

Preoccupied with America’s landscape this season, Simons’ looked to the beach and its enduring ability to conjure “a sense of the unexpected.” A glinting ultramarine image of the sea served as a backdrop, as models stepped out in graphic-print t-shirts which married the CK logo with the iconic Jaws poster image. Skin-tight trousers and all-in-one bodysuits were reminiscent of diving gear, as Simons’ troupe took to the runway with sopping-wet hair.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the dress codes of different generations,” the designer explained, as familial structures and shifts – a central focus in The Graduate – influenced his creative process. Pleated skirts, high-neck dresses and tweed blazers resurfaced as Simons paid homage to bygone silhouettes. And as was the case last season, artwork by Andy Warhol cropped up across the collection – this time, images of artist Stephen Sprouse featured in the form of fringed panelling. Under Simons’ guidance, it seems that Calvin Klein will continue to unify clothing and cultural references on a design level that few brands are yet to match.