The fashion industry is among very few who, at least right now, are hungry for an outsider’s opinion on America. And when it came time for Raf Simons to continue that commentary via his collections for Calvin Klein 250W39NYC, their appetite is insatiable. At the surface of his fall 2018 show, onlookers could draw several connections to a dystopia that no longer seems so far off — a blackened barnyard (set atop a foot of popcorn), clothes reminiscent of the Great Depression, hazmat suits, and more — but, after his third collection for the American label, is Simons still in a dogged pursuit of commenting on our unconscious history? Or, like most of us, ready to move on from it?
It’s a lot to unpack, especially after a New York Fashion Week that felt more like a slow burn than the city that never sleeps. So, let’s start with the easy stuff: the clothes. On the outside, coats felt daunting, almost henchman-like, sweaters and button-ups seemed dissimilarly comfortable and utilitarian, and slacks were, again, slim yet slouchy. Add in a few looks that were more literal than others — Nepali quilts, survival blanket dresses (indeed, in their blinding splendor), knitted balaclava …read more