Raf Simons Menswear Spring Summer 2015 Paris
The news dropped hours before his menswear show was to start “Raf Simons has decided to show his SS15 collection in front of a standing audience,” announced a release by his press office. The email went on to say that flash photography would also not be tolerated as “specific lighting” would be used.
These two important factors which had key roles to play in setting the mood of the show - the democratic standing room only crowd and the eerie red and green lighting - don’t show up in the images showing on NOWFASHION. This is because the photographers were gathered downstairs, far away from the invited guests, to shoot the models as they walked out in front of a well lit bank vault door.
The difference between the images and the experience of attending the show are literally night and day. Upstairs the show space was dimly lit by red and green lighting, engulfed by creepy Twin Peaks-like music and invaded by stringy haired models that randomly walked along a meandering catwalk, in what felt like and endless erratic loop. Resulting in an altered state fashion experience that both lulled and exhilarated in equal parts.
As for the clothing themselves, they looked to be like walking scrap books of seminal moments in Simons past. Or at the very least images that evoked a strong emotion in the designer. The key items of the collection were the well tailored jackets, held taunt to the body via a horizontal line of half a dozen buttons, on which the designer added sailor collar like flaps at the back. There he placed a collage of powerful images. Photographs of a roller coaster, a menacing shark fin slicing though water, an astronaut floating alone in space, koi fish, and mountain tops.
There were other pieces that stood out in this collection. Obviously the sneakers that lit up, but also the Japanese inspired second skin tattoo-esque tops, as well as the scoop neck knit tanks. But this show was so much more then just another sartorial suggestion offered up by Simons. This was a glimpse into the designer’s own heart of darkness. A place he beautifully exposed to an enraptured audience.