Raf Simons is one of the most innovative menswear designers. His authenticity is the key to his success. He loves to tell stories and brings his inspirations to life. For the Spring 2018 Menswear show, he took his influential guests to New York’s Chinatown. He is known for his ability to take something old and remaster it for the present generations. For his latest collection, he was motivated from two different spheres of the everyday life: movies and music.
“There are a lot of things that go back to my early days and why we started doing the things we did. So there were strong music references from the past, as you can see. But there are juxtapositions in a different way taken out of context, basically; it’s about movies (about Blade Runner, clearly), it’s about cultures sliding together–that’s the most important message for me, Asian culture and the culture of the west coming together. And you know there was a bit of new wave, punk attitude, but not aesthetically, more in the attitude like taking a different kind of things… Good Vibes… I wanted it to be energetic.”- Raf explained.
The setting at the venue was a recreation of Ridley Scott’s iconic movie “Blade Runner” from 1982. The show happened under a Manhattan Bridge in the heart of Chinatown. The whole appearance of the set was a very close replica to some of the scenes of the movie. It was almost like Harrison Ford’s character Deckard came to life. And this was not only because of the scene but also because of the designs. Simons took over an alley of Chinatown and decorated the open space with neon signs and eye-catching large lanterns. One of the neon signs even featured the word “Replicants”, giving a strong hint to the humanoids in the film. The lanterns, on the other hand, paid homage to the work of the band New Order. This was probably the right time to feature this movie, since the “Blade Runner: 2049” is scheduled to be released later this year.
The impressive crowd included many fashion editors, influencers, musicians, and designers. Marc Jacobs, who is Raf’s very good friend was there to follow the unique show. The rapper A$AP Rocky is a huge fan of the designer and didn’t miss the chance to attend. Among others, you could notice Julianne Moore, Ashton Sanders, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Aleali May, Jake Gyllenhaal and more. The guests were treated with Tsingtao beer and Fiji water to make to whole experience even more realistic.
The models wore umbrellas, raincoats and trench coats. Simons celebrates the famous movie costume designer Michael Kaplan in some of his creations. Michael is the mastermind behind the famous costumes in the Blade Runner movie. Some of the looks made the models look very much like the Replicants.
Raf’s rubber rain coats and wellies will have you covered for the cold autumn days. Among the wide variety of warm coats, you could notice long plaid ones, shorter rain jackets, and rubber trench coats. The baggy and oversized clothes that Simons is known for were also present in the collection. Oversized pants, sweatshirts, and V-neck knitted sweaters were the standout pieces in the line.
Most of the looks were finished with black wellies. There were models who held large lanterns in their arms as accessories. This was just another proof that Raf Simons creativity knows no bounds.
Raf once again collaborated with his good friend, the artist, and graphic designer Peter Saville. He took a peek in Peter’s archives and used his graphics from several album covers. You could notice printed T-shirts and sweatshirts with interesting graphics that come from New Order’s and Joy Division’s album covers.
Simons also had several female models on the runway, all of them wearing oversized pieces. Among them were Issa Lish, Sarah Brannon, and Vanessa Axente. This is actually the second show for the Raf Simons label and both shows featured female models. The Belgium designer debuted his first collection this year at the New York Fashion Week in February.
Photo Courtesy: Gerardo Somoza / Indigital.tv