The Rafology of Fashion
Following his departure from Calvin Klein last month, Raf Simons’ show in Paris last Wednesday was anticipated to be intense. However, those that have even a slight understanding of the designer would have anticipated his head-on approach to the matter. He comedically sent out invitations with an image of Laura Dern on the front hysterically crying. The designer is definitely not one to hide away from the elephant in the room; he got on with what we love him for best: his label. Joy Division’s Ian Curtis echoed around the room telling us to “not walk away in silence” and as the first look emerged, Simons most definitely did not.
The show was immediately flooded by coats, taking on the form of greatcoats in several silhouettes that marked Raf’s general aesthetic – “very long or very wide or very slick” as he explained to Vogue. Such a concept transpired through stockings tied around necks and waists, floor-length coats embellished with charms and Dr Martens worn with every look. In order to break up a sequence of looks in the generic colour pallet of a man’s wardrobe, Whispering Sons, a post-punk band from the same region of Belgium as Simons himself, played. This lead a transition with an almost identical array of looks coming out in a new order after they had played. Simons justified this by stating that the “idea of referencing is changing” where history does not necessarily define new creations; “If it wasn’t done a year ago, most people don’t find it relevant anymore.”
It is an exciting time for Raf Simons’ fans. The “drastic” changes we are soon to witness could be pivotal not just for the brand but for the designer’s aesthetic. And what should we expect from him? Well, we are just going to have to wait and see.