Calvin Klein’s Runway Highlights Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

A most surprising thing happened at New York Fashion Week show this year. The Calvin Klein designer used MCS protective clothing as one of his inspirations for his collection. Those of us with chemical sensitivities have always known we were ahead of our time in recognizing the chemical soup we increasingly are living in, but I have to admit I didn’t expect we would be recognized as fashion forward as well! And how ironic to have Calvin Klein be inspired by MCS while at the same time selling a lucrative line of perfumes and cologne which are the bane of our existence!

Calvin Klein’s runway highlights Multiple Chemical Sensitivity disorder.. What is it?

Julie Tong Yahoo Lifestyle, February 15, 2018

A controversial disease known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) has become an unlikely point of inspiration for Raf Simons, the creative mind behind Calvin Klein.

During his Tuesday New York Fashion Week show, Simons referenced the 1995 Todd Haynes film Safe, which stars Julianne Moore as Carol. The main character becomes a victim in her own home and the world around her. She is, in short, allergic to her own life, as she begins to develop mysterious symptoms — mystery bleeding, fatigue, and weight loss — all inexplicable to doctors. As Carol becomes increasingly curious about what is causing her pain, she suspects the environment and starts wearing long sleeves and a balaclava to stay protected.

This week, Simons used Carol’s protective “fashion choice” as one of several inspirations for his runway collection — which similarly includes a series of balaclavas (hand-knit), thick white and metallic gloves, thigh-high boots, and protective clothing similar to a firefighter’s bunker gear. Jackets and coats are made in a bright safety orange, include reflective paneling along the sleeves and trimming.. One look, featuring a white, green, and red striped sweater with blue sleeves, white trousers, and orange balaclava, bears a striking resemblance to the film’s own promotional imagery of Carol in her protective outfit.

According to Vogue U.K., “Raf defined his work as being a mix of ‘safety and protection’ with a lot of cinematic historical references. They included Safe, the Julianne Moore film of 1995 about environmental illness in California and a new age clinic in Mexico…” While Raf’s show notes chose to explain his creative references with a collection of 50 words, they included “safe,” “environment,” “industrial,” and “uniform.”

But what is MCS, anyway? The disease rose to prominence during the 1980s and was used to describe chemically intolerant patients — those who are unusually, severely sensitive to common chemicals, solvents, and pollutants that are typically not considered harmful to the general public. Examples include diesel exhaust, smoke, fragrances, cleaning products, and even new carpets and fresh ink.

It differs from traditional allergies in its “symptoms and mechanisms,” according to Ann McCampbell, MD, who suffers from the illness and describes it on the website of the nonprofit Chemical Sensitivity Foundation. She explains how the reactions can be as severe as creating an “imbalance in a person’s nervous, immune, and endocrine (hormonal) systems” and forcing sufferers to pare down their diets to just a few select foods. It is also possible to develop difficulty in speech or cognitive ability. Exposure from cell phones, computers, fluorescent lights, and other wireless devices are believed to affect those with MCS, with the triggers and its reactions varying widely.

To see the full article and view the runway photos, go to:

https://finance.yahoo.com/photos/calvin-kleins-runway-highlights-multiple-slideshow-wp-185836466/

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