Raf Simons’s Calvin Klein Pre-Fall Collection Is Here
Raf Simons has been rewriting the house rules since arriving at Calvin Klein in August 2016: combining men’s and women’s; redoing the John Pawson temple to minimalism that was the brand’s Madison Avenue flagship in electric-yellow paint and Sterling Ruby sculptures; booking the Kardashians for the company’s jeans campaign. Each move has served to nudge the brand back into the fashion conversation. Even declining to release images for pre-collections has seemed only to increase interest in what Simons does—at least here at Vogue HQ.
Now, just as Resort 2019 is ramping up—Dior, his former stomping ground, is showing in Chantilly, France next week—Simons is sharing select photos of his Pre-Fall 2018 lineup, styled and photographed by his longtime collaborators Olivier Rizzo and Willy Vanderperre. (The timing isn’t as weird as it sounds; a dozen or so other major brands have opted to hold their images until the goods arrive in stores, too, but Vogue never posted his Resort collection.) The set for this shoot appears to be the barn from the Fall show, only minus the truckloads of popcorn, and the clothes look like streamlined versions of some of what we saw on the runway back in February, among them a simplified silver foil slip dress and a razor-sharp knife-pleat skirt. The quilting motif that Simons launched in his first season has been reworked into heavy-gauge logo sweaters; and the Andy Warhol Foundation collaboration continues, most notably on leather accessories printed with the artist’s iconic Pop florals.
As Simons has settled in at Calvin Klein, he’s embraced the unlikely mix, rewriting, if you will, his own early rule about minimalism. Nothing here rivaled Fall’s prairie dress and hazmat boots for unsettling, but the giant puffer/tailored coat combination, and slips paired with Pendleton barn jackets or athletic leggings and sexy pumps were unlikely enough. After a collection featuring those hazmat waders and delicate sandals lost in popcorn, the biggest takeaway from these pictures just might be those sexy heels.