Raf Simons Menswear Fall Winter 2015 Paris

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Raf Simons Menswear Fall Winter 2015 Paris

On the invitation for the Raf Simons’s fall/winter 2014 menswear show, the designer had emblazoned the phrase “To the archives, No longer relevant.”  It felt like a sartorial call to arms. To forget the past — abandon history. What has come before doesn’t matter; it is what we do now, in the present, that counts.

For anyone who has ever been, or is currently dealing with, a teenager, these raw and rebellious sentiments have a visceral ring of truth to them. At some point we have all railed against the world and the mistakes made by those who have come before us.

It was this feeling that prevailed at the Simons show late Wednesday night in a far-flung fashion show venue in the suburbs of Paris. On a raised catwalk (chest high for the audience, which was obliged to stand for the duration of the show) sullen-faced models, with their hair looking flat and greasy and parted in the middle as if not washed for quite a while, clomped by.

Their brooding nature communicated through their clothing. Because everyone knows that at some point teenagers stop talking all together. It is only their clothing and hygiene that give any real clue to their state of mind.  So Simons sent out long sleeveless coats (perhaps yanked off in a fit of rage), jackets with shredded cuffs, raw edged knit pants, moth (or was it a washing machine?) eaten hole-filled sweaters and, most dramatically, white school lab coats covered in angst-filled artwork.

The long and lean silhouette, exaggerated by the off the ground catwalk, had a whiff of the 70s about it. A feeling heightened by the color palette, the chosen checked fabrics and glossy vinyl’s used for the outerwear. Oh, and the 1970 classic “Child in Time” by Deep Purple also helped seal the deal.

But as much as this show wanted to rebel, the fashion world, just like the parents of a disgruntled teenager, just wanted to embrace it with open loving arms.