In February 2017 Raf Simons presented his first collection as the creative director of the Calvin Klein brand. As part of the Fashion Week in New York, the show only confirmed designer’s importance and versatility in the fashion world. Can Raf return the brand to its roots and turn urban minimalism into a strict chic?
Almost three and a half years before, Raf worked for Christian Dior, creating lush skirts with floral styles and ascetic-simple tops, delicate neckline, lavender bustiers and shortened knitted jackets. His first collection and show for Dior were luxurious — strict silhouettes of tuxedos, elegant gowns, classic jackets with silk multilayered skirts, coats and dresses made of karakul, rich shades of fuchsia, lavender and sapphire. The walls during that show were decorated with thousands of flowers compositions. On that day Dior drowned in orchids, roses, delphinium and peonies — about 1 million flowers in total.
Raf ventured and turned all his styles towards underlined femininity and received the most enthusiastic reviews of the most famous world’s designers — Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Donatella Versace. The Belgian designer managed to become the best creator in the walls of the Dior Fashion House in recent years.
This year Raf had to prove his open-mindedness: after all this Dior luxury and sometimes excessive sensuality, create a collection for the Calvin Klein brand, known for its simple solutions, the urban style for women and men, including footwear and accessories, and suitable for daily life silhouettes and tissues.
Minimalism was a designer to taste. His debut for the new brand exceeded all expectations. The success was laid in combinations – nylon with knitwear, fur collars and frills with thick mating sleeves that can be easily put on top of a jacket, silk and fur with a leather bomber, silk with feathers and vinyl.
The collection turned out to be practical, worthy of American fashionable women and fashionistas — the designer paid tribute to the colours of the American flag, classical denim and 1970s style. The general colour scheme remained unchanged for Calvin Klein: grey, black, saturated sand, red, dark blue. The simple geometry of the first Raf Simons work for the American brand brought the designer to a new level.