NEW YORK — Crunchy snow and ice greeted designers, models and fans at New York Fashion Week on Friday, a day after a snow storm pummeled the city. What visitors got was a political message from the Calvin Klein show and another where lingerie strutted out of the bedroom.
Among the day’s highlights:
CALVIN KLEIN: A MESSAGE FROM THE RUNWAY
The message could not have been clearer or more pointed: Raf Simons’ debut collection for Calvin Klein opened and closed with the David Bowie song “This is Not America.”
“When you have a voice, you should use it,” Simons had said backstage just last week at his own label’s menswear show. And now, for his much-awaited bow Friday morning with new employer Calvin Klein — for which he has moved to New York — the Belgian designer was using his.
The soundtrack wasn’t the only means Simons used to put across his message. A day earlier, Calvin Klein had sent guests patterned bandanas, with a note saying: “Unity, inclusion, hope and acceptance: Join us at Calvin Klein in wearing the white bandana. #tiedtogether.”
The clothes, too — designed along with the label’s Pieter Mulier — were meant to display an inclusive message, sort of a melting pot of styles. “It reflects the environment,” Simons wrote in the show notes. “It is the coming together of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself.”
There were nods to the American West for both women and men, with denim jackets over loose jeans, or colorful cowboy-style shirts. There was sporty America, in striped woolen standalone sleeves — similar to the arm-warmers shown by his men’s label. There were crisp business-like houndstooth suits, and there were coats in colorful quilt patterns.
For some flash, there were a number of garments — dresses, coats, skirts — encased in a layer of plastic, looking like cellophane wrapping on a gift. In one dress, the plastic shielded a burst of feathers in white, yellow and black. A golden yellow furry coat also had this laminated effect. Another common embellishment was a silver metallic flower, appearing on black leather jackets or sheer mesh tops that left little to the imagination.
Among the celebrity attendees were Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomie Harris, Kate Bosworth, Greta Gerwig, Brooke Shields, director Sofia Coppola, and supermodel Lauren Hutton.
Hutton praised both the show’s contents and its messaging.
“He’s a new miracle,” she said backstage of Simon’s arrival at the label, a post the former Dior designer has taken over from Francisco Costa. Asked whether politics should have an expression in fashion, she said: “I think that’s what all art is for. Fashion, if it’s good, always has something to say about society.”
Designer Diane von Furstenberg was also among the front-row guests. She wore a large button that said: “Fashion starts with Planned Parenthood.”
“It’s not about politics,” she explained. “It’s about women’s rights, about the body, and about human rights.”
KENDALL JENNER, NAOMI CAMPBELL, GWYNETH PALTROW SUPPORT LA PERLA SHOW
Luxury lingerie line La Perla leapt from the bedroom to the boardroom Thursday during New York Fashion Week.
The colorful, star-studded show included plenty of silky, negligee-inspired dresses, but much of the line was meant to be worn outside — on a date or to the office.
The collection had tailored suits, bright blazers and separates. Models crisscrossed the British manor-inspired runway set wearing plaid slip dresses and skirt suits, a possible homage to the ’90s hit “Clueless.”
The sex appeal was there, too.
Lacy bras were exposed under plunging necklines and sheer shirts. High-wasted shorts and delicate floral skirts were paired with bustier tops.
Naomi Campbell opened the splashy event in midtown and Kendall Jenner closed the show while Gwyneth Paltrow looked on from the front row.
KENDALL JENNER MAY BE TOO BUSY FOR KANYE WEST’S SHOW
Now a runway regular, Kendall Jenner said she’s feeling more comfortable in the fashion world.
“Yeah, it’s cool. It’s different definitely not being the newbie, but it’s nice. You know everyone and it’s just like a lot of friends now. I remember, like, my first couple fashion weeks you didn’t really know who to like hang out with and you were still trying to bond with people. So now it’s nice to just have a bunch of friends,” she said.
She’s so in demand these days that she may not have time for Kanye West’s fashion show schedule for Feb. 15.
“Probably attending, but I actually don’t know because I think I have like a lot of shows that day. So I’m trying to figure it all out. But yeah, we’ll see,” Jenner said.
But she’s certain to connect with her famous siblings at some point as fashion week is often a family affair for the Kardashian-Jenner clan.
“It’s so fun! Yeah, we always hang out and it’s fun that they like come to my shows now and they’re like involved. It’s cool. It’s like a whole new layer to it,” she said of her family coming to town.
Backstage the younger sister to Kim, Khloe and Kourtney said she’s a big fan of lingerie.
“I love it. I think it’s so fun and it’s so fun to like dress up, I guess dress down. But yeah, I love lingerie and La Perla is really amazing and it’s just really cool to be a part of something that like you genuinely like love. It’s cool,” she said.
She advises women to simply “rock it like you own it.”
“I think there’s a lot of confidence that comes with it and if you just rock it like you own it always. But I’m not wearing lingerie tonight. I’m wearing something very extravagant, which I love. It’s really beautiful,” she said.