Raf Simons Menswear Spring Summer 2016 Paris
The grim reaper madras hoodies worn by the male models on the raised Raf Simons catwalk definitely produced the desired effect. They obscured the models faces while they walked fast, and in packs, as they lugged over their shoulders long thick plastic chains hauling weighty bags behind them. It made for a disquieting and eerie mood.
What sort of dangerous things were these boys up to?
Well, considering that two of the models fell off the stage because of those hoodies, one could argue that just walking in a Simons show is taking your life into your own hands.
However, it will be a risk quite a lot of men are going to want to take next summer. Yes, there were a number of daring design propositions in this show. The form fitting cropped knitwear tops that looked moth-eaten and patched in plaids for one. The slim floor skimming bell-bottom pants for another. Both of these designs touched on the current conversation about sartorial gender lines and what defines menswear these days.
Right alongside those formidable fashion options, Simons showed some more conventionally appealing alternatives. Matrix-like dusters emblazoned with artisanal abstract madras lines, coats embellished with metal grommets in the form of diamonds or chevrons, and buttoned bejeweled short sweaters still challenged fashion notions, just ones that were easier to comprehend.
It all made for a well-rounded Simons show, where lots of questions were posed and very little answers given – just the way the designer likes it.