Calvin Klein puts 'Jaws' bite into NY Fashion Week

Published September 12, 2018, 6:33 AM

by James A. Loyola

By Agence France-Presse

Calvin Klein took a bite out of the New York runway Tuesday with Belgian designer Raf Simons inspired by “Jaws,” in his latest exploration of America, its glistening surface and dark underbelly.

Models walk the runway at the Calvin Klein 205W39NYC Spring 2019 Men's and Women's runway show during New York Fashion Week (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Models walk the runway at the Calvin Klein 205W39NYC Spring 2019 Men’s and Women’s runway show during New York Fashion Week (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Models marched down a red-carpeted runway against a glittering video seascape backdrop — all bobbing 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, more than 40 years on perhaps still America’s most iconic 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 labored 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.”

Simons moved to Calvin Klein two years ago and has been credited with giving the iconic American 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 black, and fringed, almost-tribal style clip-on 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.”
AFP / Angela Weiss Model Kaia Gerber hits the runway for Calvin Klein in a black mortar board and Jaws t-shirt

“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 mens and womenswear 205W39NYC Spring 2019 collection from those in the room, including the actor Jake Gyllenhaal.