FKA Twigs Transforms Her Strength Into Something Otherworldly for Calvin Klein
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
There’s something deeply gravitational about FKA Twigs. She embodies a bewitching allure throughout her extensive work, forcing even those who don’t know her to fall under her spell. Perhaps that’s why Twigs’ new spotlight in the “Calvins or nothing” campaign feels unequivocally mesmerizing.
Set against the traditionally seamless background Calvin Klein’s campaigns are known for, Twigs’ movement remains soft and alive, like the shades of grey that blend gently throughout the photos. In each image, she remains trapped in motion, caught between fluid poses as Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott document an artist at work. “[Twigs] first is a dear friend of mine,” explains Alas. “We have a lot of creative experiences and inspirational conversations together, so I wanted her involvement in Calvin Klein to be very genuine and reflect that.”
Outside of the delicate, vulnerable nature of the images, there is a thread of strength. “You’re literally stripping bare for the public,” Twigs notes.
“Physicality right now is such a huge point of discussion,” she details, nodding to fashion’s inconsistency to encompass all body types. Though recent years showcased a burgeoning change amongst luxury and retail brands, the last few months have felt like a regression. “We’ve gone from enhanced female body parts to now everyone being obsessed with being so thin.”
Buy Calvin Klein Spring 2023 Collection
In this hour, however, where time stands still for Twigs, she hopes this moment will reverberate throughout her life, and hopefully the wider culture. “Doing [this campaign] means I can be who I am—A strong woman. That isn’t going to go in and out of fashion,” she declares. “When I’m in my 60s and have grandchildren, I can show them these pictures and say, ‘Your grandmother was strong.’”
This dichotomy between soft and powerful is something Twigs excels in. When “Cellophane” was released in 2019, audiences quickly commented on her pole dancing throughout the accompanying video. It’s a moment of sheer admiration for her physical prowess as she whispers sensitive lyrics like “And didn’t I do it for you?/Why don’t I do it for you?” Again, we see it in videos like her recent release, “Killer.” Here she displays complete control in a choreographed set, paralleled to the intimate lyrics, “Something in the way you put your hands on my waist/Pulled me nearer.”
Beyond her physicality, this duality remains apparent in her music too. “Honda,” which intros ethereal choral cries, combines a hard-hitting base with brisk tempos while she raps lyrics like “I wonder why you so delicia, baby, you can roll, here’s a rizla/Honda, smoke while we glide on the M way.” Or “Papi Bones” which fuses heavy Spanish beats with her light vocals. It takes complete control to produce work in total balance the way she does. What’s resulted thus far, and is sure to echo in this campaign, has been lucid support and admiration.
“Being your strongest self, that’s always in fashion,” she adds.
Beyond the direct transactional relationship between artist and brand, which “is a very complicated and fragile one,” as Twigs admits, lies something more grounding and authentic. “I’m always excited to create iconic imagery that will stay in people’s minds. For me, that comes from telling the truth,” Twigs permits. “People can feel that; it stays with them because it’s an emotional and visceral reaction.”
In the subsequent campaign video, in which Twigs contorts herself to an unreleased song titled “Strip Tease,” clips flip in and out of frame while hard beats pound in the background. “I feel alive/I want to show you who I am,” she belts. Shadows engulf her body, bending and morphing as Twigs’ physical form reshapes in an endless chasm of black. It’s a sharp contrast to the photographs, which emulate the overall give-and-take she places in her work.
Though the video gives an impression of Twigs entering this fast-paced era, she admits that she feels slower and more in control than ever. “My truth right now is in taking command of my physicality, my flexibility, and my strength,” she notes. Twigs hasn’t felt this “since being thrown into the public eye.” After over a decade of being pulled through the industry against her terms, “it feels like everything stops.” Her truth is about taking control. “That’s what I portray in the video,” she asserts.
Buy Calvin Klein Spring 2023 Collection
Perhaps what also comes across in the imagery is the intimate feeling of working with “family,” as she puts it. This is Twigs’ second time working with Calvin Klein, releasing a denim campaign shot by David Sims in 2016, just a few months after the release of her EP, M3LL155X. “I love when I can go back and re-work with a brand,” she states, realizing that her artistic growth has taken her even further than imagined. “To come back this time and see my movement refined, and I’m stronger, more flexible, and have more stamina, these things excite me!”
For Twigs, this is a complete 180 from how she thought things would be growing up. “I felt so awful as a teenager. So weird and so bizarre, like a little alien. I felt like no one would have been able to see me,” she discloses before pausing. Of course, this could be far from the truth now, admitting that she embodies her differences and imbues them into the work. “I’ve transformed my displacement that I often feel into an otherworldliness,” she concludes.
MLB Livestream 2023: How to Watch Baseball Online Free
- Baseball livestream
A Greener Clean: The Best Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products for Your Home
- SPRING CLEANING SEASON
Courtroom Spectacle: Gwyneth Paltrow's Glasses Go Viral During Ski Crash Trial
- ALL EYES ON GWYNETH'S (GLASSES)