Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, the legendary house’s high-end line, took a bite out of the New York runway with Belgian designer Raf Simons inspired by Jaws in his latest exploration of America, its glistening surface and dark underbelly.
Models marched down a red-carpeted runway against a glittering video seascape backdrop – yachts, sun bouncing off gentle waves and a swimmer coming into view.
Suddenly the summer idyll was shattered with the menacing chords of the theme music to the 1975 Steven Spielberg blockbuster, an iconic American summer horror flick.
Models emerged as if straight from the ocean, with wet strands of hair, beads of water glistening on their skin and dressed in wet suits, both long and cropped, the Jaws metaphor laboured in shark-bite-style slashes on the hemlines of delicately pleated skirts.
Jaws imagery was printed on singlet T-shirts, as the soundtrack to the show flitted from the menacing to the sunny, taking in Suspicious Minds along the way and closing with Scarborough Fair.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by CALVIN KLEIN (@calvinklein) on Sep 11, 2018 at 9:47pm PDT
Simons moved to Calvin Klein two years ago and has been credited with giving the iconic US label renewed relevancy, his collections diving deep into the good, the bad and the ugly of the United States.
“The landscape of America – literal and psychological – inspires Calvin Klein. A journey through America leads, inevitably, to the edge of the landscape: the beach,” Simons wrote in notes for the show.
“At the beach there is this incredible idea of beauty, but also a tension – between land and ocean, a feeling of two worlds meeting, maybe colliding,” he added.
“There’s a sense of the unexpected – and always, a temptation. For me, Jaws perfectly exemplifies these notions.”
Hints at a savage world were teased out with plenty of animal print in bold reds, greens and yellows paired with fringed, almost tribal-style chest adornments.
Contrast came from the school’s-out look – Cindy Crawford’s 17-year-old daughter Kaia Gerber walking down the runway in a blazer and black mortar board – a nod to movie The Graduate.
“Like the film, this collection explores taboos and temptations, shifts in culture and community, but ultimately, the overarching theme is love,” Simons explained.
He ran out at the end, blowing kisses to cheers and warm applause for his men’s and womenswear 205W39NYC spring 2019 collection from those in the room, including the actor Jake Gyllenhaal.