Raf Simons “Youth In Motion” A/W18 Collection Closes New York Fashion Week Mens
Belgian born fore-spoken fashion designer and royalty in the fashion industry, Raf Simons delivered a genius collection ending new york fashion week on a high. A merely undoubtable runway display hosted in a large warehouse space in where it’s decor was an overwhelming set installation by Mark Collie. The runway location was swarmed with laser beams to shape a techno party environment, this stemming from the designers close interaction and obsession of the youth and youth culture. The catwalk had intentionally placed bouquets of flowers, wine bottles and baskets of grapes sat parallel to each other, for models to walk between showcasing Simons’ autumn/winter 18 collection.
Submerged deep into the collection were references birthing from the book Christaina F and which was later turned into a film too. The book once being a part of Raf’s school curriculum in where they were made to read and discuss in class is the one of many references that paid influence to the originally furniture industrial design student’s mens collection. Chritsian F was a tale that portrays the dark and self-destroying realities of drugs in the youth culture in 1970’s Berlin.
The name ‘Raf Simons’ now embedded amongst the many lyrics of today’s hip hop big shots, it is undisputed when I say he has contributed unimaginable efforts to fashion as we know it today and since his label birth in 1995 after interning at Walter Van Beirendonck in 1990, the same year Raf attended his first fashion show. The game-changing all-white 1990 Maison Margiela runway show.
Simons being one of the very few and reluctant designers to part business and sell and should stand as a firm message to young designers. Demonstrated in 2005 when he was admirably appointed to design mens and womenswear for Jil Sander. The German fashion house was a part of the Prada group at the time, however Raf starting his legacy by remaining to his core and delivering repetitious, timeless authentic fashion was a successful change in direction for Jil Sander. As displayed in this collection noticeably alongside all of Raf’s archive, he reinvents the revisited ideas from past designs and art references to build a foundation for a creative release and interprets this into the garments with impeccable skill. A popular question being asked is “Is fashion art?”. Soho boutique Machine A founder and buying director, Stravros Kerelis answered this in the the AW18 collection panel discussion on Nick knight’s Showstudio. Kerelis believed that Fashion and art are different things however what Raf has mastered is borrowing elements of art and using fashion as a creative medium to create an artists’ canvas. Raf has expressed his heartfelt passion for art by commemorating the sadly passed Andy Warhol in his first Calvin Klein campaign, teaming up with graphic artist Peter Saville. In addition, the fashion heavyweight has worked with Sterling Ruby on the debatable, most successful Raf Simons collections ever to be made. The “Autumn/Winter collection also favoured diverse casting of the models on parade, model diversity has sat in the headlines and mouths of the industry’s media and press as of the recent weeks. The models were cautiously selected to encourage diversity and furthermore relate back to the Christiana F book characters.
The tailoring used in the informally worn in the houndtooth suits minus the traditional shirt can be seen mirrored in Raf’s menswear pieces under Jil Sander, the interior is also an integral area of the design believes Simons. The variety of fabrics and shapes used throughout the collection remains central to Raf Simons’ recognisable designs. Warm knitwear, Graphic imagery, firmly sitting overcoats with random (no doubt purposeful) situated and oversized pockets,50’s couture patent gloves, silks, satin’s and a completely refreshing, unseen “Dickey” took the runway by positive surprise. The “Dickey” being the eccentric and vivid knitwear turtlenecks that merge into sweater fronts, saw in only a vibrant yet comprising colour palette. The “Dickey” is now certainly a future influence and idea development for the upcoming and young designers. The sweater fronts hosted a meaningful aesthetic, colour filled squares reading “Drugs”. This aesthetic feature illustrates a reference to the Cookie Mueller and Glen O’Brien book inevitably titled “Drugs”. This book hosting a similar theme to the previously mentioned Christiana. F book, “Drugs” by the two authors was initially a play write turned recently published book including youth characters naively exploring an assortment of drugs before what is unclear that’s written, one character dies.
The Raf Simons Autumn/Winter Collection is a one of many exquisitely completed levels of his creativity,
See gallery above and below for the full collection below seen at New York Fashion Week Mens – 8/2/18