From Chic Plastic Ponchos to the A-List Front Row: What Not to Miss from Raf Simon's Calvin Klein Debut

After leaving Christian Dior two years ago, the Belgian designer makes his return to the runway during New York Fashion Week

Calvin Klein show, Fall Winter 2017, New York Fashion Week, USA - 10 Feb 2017
Photo: Clint Spaulding/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

For those outside of the fashion industry, the name Raf Simons might not immediately ring any bells. But even if you don’t know his name, you’ve undoubtedly seen his work given that he’s one of the most high profile and prolific fashion designers working in the industry right now. After a stint at the helm of Jil Sander, Christian Dior, and his eponymous brand, Simons has now found a new home at Calvin Klein. While he officially made his debut during men’s NYFW at the beginning of February, this marks the first time he’s presented his full vision for the new direction of this iconic brand. And as this show proved, Simons isn’t afraid to shake up a legendary house’s style DNA, in certain instances even totally starting over from scratch. Here’s the five things you’re going to want to know about the future of CK.

The front row was packed with an A-list crowd

The New York Times may have reported as recently as Wednesday that the death knell for celebrity-centric FROWs has already tolled, but clearly Raf didn’t get the memo. The front row of his Fall 2017 show was not only filled with fashion week staples, including Anna Wintour, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Grace Coddington, but also an assortment of famous faces that paid testament to the designer’s wildly diverse interests and influences.

New face of the brand Millie Bobby Brown was of course front and center, as was rapper A$AP Rocky, onetime Calvin Klein model Brooke Shields (who hinted to WWD about a possible return to the brand), Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth, Karlie Kloss, Greta Gerwig, comedian Rachel Feinstein, and legendary artist Cindy Sherman.

Plastic ponchos are in for fall

Calvin Klein Collection - February 2017 - New York Fashion Week
Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic

A number of looks, ranging from tweed sports coats to iridescent furs, came down the runway encased in a thin, slightly reflective sheet of plastic, paying homage to your grandmother’s beloved spill-proof furniture coverings or George W. Bush’s recent entanglement with a poncho at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

There’s a new denim silhouette in town

Calvin Klein Collection - February 2017 - New York Fashion Week
Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic

Denim has long been one of Calvin Klein’s signatures, from the moment Brooke Shields first murmured that nothing comes between her and the brand’s pants. So it seemed inevitable that the designer would give his own twist on the aesthetic, favoring super dark washes, a slight bootcut silhouette, and perfectly coordinated double-denim looks.

But fear not because Simons was still able to imbue the collection with plenty of sex appeal, featuring crop tops with plenty of under-boob, as well as totally sheer tops perfect for the #FreeTheNipple set.

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The theme was Americana meets Sterling Ruby

Raf brought along his longtime artistic collaborator Sterling Ruby to help design the decor for the runway show which featured an assortment of objects hanging from the ceiling, including piles of pom-poms, punching bags, shredded American flags, metal barred doors, and drums, amongst various CK-branded objets.

Unisex everything

Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic

The designer proved that the future of fashion is all about blurring gender lines, showing both his women’s and men’s collection simultaneously. He also made the unisex nature of these designs clear, repeatedly showing a male model wearing a certain look, immediately followed by it’s nearly identical feminine counterpart.

What do you think of Raf’s first collection for Calvin Klein? Sound off below!

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