With fashion churning out trends at hyper-speed, you’ll suffer from whiplash before you see nascent trends on sale at Nordstrom. Upon embracing the statement off-shoulder trend, its ubiquity at Forever21 made me feel like Ace Ventura in a room full of taxidermied animal heads.
While hiding under my covers from a sea of exposed shoulders, I looked to Vogue, desperate to discover something other than a collar bone. There, I laid eyes on Calvin Klein’s Fall 2017 collection designed by Raf Simmons.
In true Calvin Klein spirit accentuated with a Simmons twist, the show nodded towards new-wave patriotism. Described as, “the coming together of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself,” its versatility accented by tradition was beyond respectable.
Male and female models donned near identical outfits, emboldening a common place between the sexes. Scattered through was a wide range of Americana including steel-tipped cowboy boots, Wall Street-style suiting, and obscure couch-like plastic gleaming off trench coats, pairing oh so well with soft gender ambiguity.
Most admirably, Raf’s take on the Calvin Klein spirit was embodied by varsity sweater sleeves attached to tight mesh bodies. This uniform of modern, rule-bending Americana expertly combined pedestrian values of sport and career with some much-needed men in mesh .
The designs were prescient, palatable, and pioneering, a trifecta few designers achieve. Simmons embraces the spirit of the times, pushes the envelope, then delicately serves it on a silver platter. He manages to be loud and muted, forward-thinking with an ear to the past, and true to both himself and the brands he steps into.
Thanks to Raf, I emerged from my covers refreshed and anew, with my spirits high and shoulders proudly covered.