Feeling a little nostalgiac today, I recall a post I wrote way back when on Calvin Klein, the man behind the globally successful, all-American, modernist label of the same name. Admittedly, I shudder shortly after, too, recalling how gushing and shoddily written the whole thing was.
And although almost 5 years have passed, I'm still as inclined to wax lyrical about the same brand. Well, it's more of a strung-out-on-heroin, love-hate relationship where I find myself eagerly trawling through images on GQ.com, barely able to withstand the second or two it takes to load the next image, wildly oscillating from genuine reverent awe at Creative Director Italo Zucchelli's genius (below left) to out and out dejection, confusion and disgust (below right, if you have the stomach for it...).
^ Calvin Klein Collection AW 2012 (left) and SS 2012 (right)
I suppose it's a fetish, an obsession or compulsion of sorts (I really don't know, ask Freud), that started with the Spring Summer 2012 collection, and which sees me season-in season-out salivating then promptly shifting gear to sobbing as I peruse. The highs come with those looks that reference Zucchelli's architect-cum-Jil Sander past (he studied the subject in Florence for 2 years before jumping ship in search of fashion and style and eventually working for the German designer), those near perfect combinations of brutish symmetry, severely clean lines and rich texture to soften the blow. These are usually in the less offensive colours and colour-blocked; midnight, cobalt and electric blues, black, or shades somewhere between ecru and mustard. These looks make me want to do things like oh beg, borrow, steal, seduce, blackmail etc. in order to secure them.
^ Calvin Klein SS 2013 (left) and SS 2012 (right)
Viewing the lows, on the other hand, is a depressing, dismal and generally frightening experience which is likely to involve bafflement (you are stunned, never before having been confronted with such ugliness), nausea and hopelessness (instead of lauding Italo Zucchelli as your chosen god, you begin to question if there even is one). These looks are not faintly but downright ridiculous and often prompt you to pray that the model manages to hold their wretching 'til they finish their walk.
^ Calvin Klein Collection SS 2012 (left) and AW 2012 (right)
Calvin Klein. It's a curious phenomenon (that makes for a schizoid relationship).
Images from GQ.com