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Raf Simons S/S 14 - Paris

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June 26, 2013

Paris

By Tim Blanks

 

Raf Simons is about to become a godfather. He was picturing the Alexander Calder mobile suspended over his show space today as the perfect godfatherly gift—if the nursery had 40-foot ceilings and he had $15 million to spend. The Calder, a couple of others like it, and two structures designed by the legendary architect Jean Prouvé (basically blueprints for a gas station and a prefab house) filled the gallery that Larry Gagosian has created near Le Bourget airstrip outside Paris. It was absolute coincidence that it should be work by Calder and Prouvé that was on display when Simons staged his presentation, but the synchronicity of art and fashion simply offered more proof that there is no such thing as an accident. The mechanical nature of the Calders and the mass-producible design of the Prouvés tied into a Pop art something in Simons' show. You could see it in the kiddie giddiness of elongated tees made up like walking ads, or pieces that looked like play clothes—onesies, gym slips—for adults. 

The nu-beat soundtrack was an obvious cue to the Simons of a long time ago, when he was clubbing in Antwerp with his friends Olivier Rizzo and Willy Vanderperre. There was a thread of rave-y glow-stick idealism in this collection, harking back to when they were all just skinny boys with the world at their chemically enhanced fingertips. That's what the silhouettes said, too. "This is the new shape," one tee announced. "Artificially flavored," it added. 

Nature versus artifice: that might have been the core of it all. A lot of the fabrics were purely synthetic, but the sentiment behind them was as real and as ardent as the one that drove Simons nearly 20 years ago when he made clothes inspired by the songs of angry young men. But something had to change. Less anger, more light. A sense of fun. The key word for Simons was "freedom." He is known for his tailoring, but there was precious little of that here, because suits are ultimately just another restrictive uniform. 

A Simons show is always a proposal. Ideas need to be digested, recast in their essence. That will happen here, too. You'll see these things filter into the world in one free form or another. But what we saw tonight was Raf Simons staking a claim to his own legacy: I was here; I did this.

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i quite like this considering i was rather indifferent about last season's collection. i see a few references to his earlier collections (ss03,ss09,fw10) in terms of prints and silhouettes. maybe that's why i don't mind this collection. it has a sense of nostalgia of what raf once used to be.

however, i don't see myself wearing or buying any of this. raf just doesn't connect with the youth culture like he once did. his customers nowadays are sadly the wannabe blogger types that eat up anything trendy/flashy or the hip hop community.

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Hints of J.W. Anderson coming through here. The intermix of femine/maculine elements seems to be creeping up more and more. And the high socks look + derby lace-ups seems to the be the defacto trend for spring. Could care less for the clutchs. Liked the unusual use of color blocking from the shoulders and the the use of the hidden snap buttons. Dries Van Noten had interpreted the use of them recently and it gives a coat or jacket a streamlined/slick/futuristic look. And of course the "ugly" running sneaker trend. Best trend I've seen come out of nothing in a while.

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criticizing based on whether or not you'd wear it just proves you a bobby flay ass dude

you do realize I said I liked the collection right? or maybe you just chose to ignore it. my 'comment' was not based on if I would wear it or not, but based on the direction the raf simons label has taken.

even though I have no need to defend myself, but just to entertain you, for your information, I am no 'bobbly flay ass dude' (whatever that even means). I for one was a raf simons customer and own quite a few raf pieces, but none of which are from recent collections.

but why shouldn't wearability be one of the factors in criticizing a collection? this is fashion, no? at the end of the day, sales is an important factor. and as someone who used to wear raf, I sure as hell will base part of my evaluation and opinion on my personal values.

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fashion criticism should be about design, not consumption. well your comment about liking the collection sort of implies he's being regressive. i don't think anyone would take that favourably. and you talking about owning raf basically means you aren't being objective, cuz who gives a fuck what you own or wear. raf probably doesn't.

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fashion criticism should be about design, not consumption. well your comment about liking the collection sort of implies he's being regressive. i don't think anyone would take that favourably. and you talking about owning raf basically means you aren't being objective, cuz who gives a fuck what you own or wear. raf probably doesn't.

you certainly cared enough to suggest that I based my comment of this collection on whether or not I would wear it.

and yes raf is regressing. none of his collections in recent years have impressed me one bit. and no, this is not based on whether or not I would wear them, incase you were wondering. and I think it's utter bullshit to say fashion criticism should only be about design and not consumption. fashion is design and commerce.

Edited by historyofmyworld

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As far as I want people to discuss about the collections, it should be should with good manners / don't turn this thread into the second "Filipino food" thread. Write more than just "nice i like that". 

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