Calvin Klein took a bite out of the New York runway Tuesday (Sep 11) with Belgian designer Raf Simons inspired by the movie Jaws, in his latest exploration of America, its glistening surface and dark underbelly.
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 laboured 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.
Meanwhile, Coach transported the fashion pack to an alien-like mise-en-scene Tuesday for a spring/summer 2019 collection of prairie-style skirts and fringed suede jackets inspired by Sante Fe and Georgia O'Keeffe.
It was British creative designer Stuart Vevers's latest outing for the 77-year-old US leather goods brand, which has only relatively recently moved into ready-to-wear, with muse Selena Gomez, 26, front row.
The designer, who has been at Coach since 2013, summed it up as "assembling and reconstructing the craft and spirit of the American look," and "scavenged and salved American heirlooms".
His spring vision stayed true to Vevers's fascination with the Wild West, with peasant-style loose frocks paired with slashed and fringed suede jackets and ruffled blouses.
There were also hoodies and T-shirts featuring pictures from that other pillar of US popular entertainment: Disney movies.
The set was something out of 1982 science fiction movie Blade Runner with a dinosaur skeleton-style metal sculpture, and a rusted-out Volkswagen Beetle, giving Vevers his trademark contrast between outback and urban grit.
The designer, who has been at Coach since 2013, summed it up as "assembling and reconstructing the craft and spirit of the American look," and "scavenged and salved American heirlooms."