RAF SIMONS MEN’S FALL 2012
“Boom!” and the lights went out just as soon as they’d been switched on at the start of Raf Simons’ fall show at the Maison des Métalos. Since the single strand of lights in front of the photo pit couldn’t be fixed, the show started in much the way the inscription on my invite had predicted: Run Fall Run.
The show had hints of Mr. Simons’ first few shows presented in basements and garages near Bastille in the late 90’s. I remembered those first outings in the late ’90s, the era of logo-mania, when Mr. Simons’ shows shattered the image of corporate branding and ushered in a new thinking to fashion.
Mr. Simons has always held a fascination with youth culture and fashion was merely a means to channel his tailoring to that particular generation. He made skinny suits the ‘must have’ for young kids. He used to cast his show in Antwerp and bring in real life models for his shows. The boys at his fall show had that look of youth not present on any other Paris shows.
Casting young kids gave a distinctive and familiar feeling to Mr. Simons’ tailored clothes and somehow made the collection less of a design breakthrough for him. The black wool slim shorts, cut tightly around leg and just circling above the ankle, served as a base for a series of voluminous coats in rigid wool and stretch nylon most with large shoulders and dropped or flared collars. The shorts broke the formality of a suit look. There were patches of deer skin hanging from the collar in the back of sweat shirts and a double breasted coat has a back of dyed deer skin. They reminded me of the fox tail belt accessories I see on the street recently. I have seen kids hanging out at Empire Skating Rink parks in Brooklyn wearing them with their large silhouette coats and layered shirts and sweatshirts, some paired with long basketball shorts and either sneakers or leather tims. There is no doubt that Mr. Simons remained fully connected to the changes in the lives of street fashion as he bring his tailoring skills to fashion the kinds of fine clothes that these kids would want to wear, if not now, then soon.