Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Unfortunately I missed the RAF SIMONS show this season, but on my way back from New York I made a 5 hour stopover in Paris to see the spring/summer 2013 collection up close in the showroom.

The long profile that Cathy Horyn did of Raf in 2005 for the New York Times kept coming back to me.

"September 18, 2005

The damp, persistent chill had ended, and by noon in Westende, a community of high-rise apartment buildings on the coast of Belgium, the temperature had risen to 65 degrees. At cafe tables along the boardwalk, middle-aged women opened the tops of their blouses, while down on the beach, pinkish bodies, plumped by their Lycra casings, lay between the canvas windbreaks.

Raf Simons leaned against the rail of his balcony. He had made the 90-minute drive from Antwerp, where he lives most of the year, in part to satisfy my curiosity to see his place at the beach. When I first spoke to him, by telephone, more than a year ago, he had described the place as ''crappy.'' I don't know why, but I liked him immediately. Westende was all he said it was. The Germans in World War II built bunkers there, and you can still see their ghastly windows in the dunes, but for the most part, the history of Westende is the history of the past 20 years: concrete pedestrian plazas with shops and restaurants where you can have a beer and eat shrimp croquettes while listening to Europop."

Westende, Google Maps:

SS13 knit:

Back to the Cathy Horyn article again:

"While we were on the terrace, Simons got a call from Marc Foxx, a Los Angeles gallery owner, informing him that he had lost out on a Brian Calvin painting that he wanted. Simons has been collecting contemporary art for years..."

Google Image search: Brian Calvin paintings

The Face magazine, September 1993:

Contrary to what a lot of tweets said on the day of the show, the floral patterns are not Liberty Prints. All of them bar one (or possibly two) were developed in house, some drawn by Raf himself. The most abstract one, which almost resembles a Jackson Pollock splatter painting from a distance, was created by layering different floral prints on top of each other.


  1. Wow, thanks for posting this. There's so much more than you could see on the runway!

    Saying that, I'm not particularly keen on much of it, but you can definitely see the depth and breadth of the collection. I do love the floral print when applied to the jumper, and also all the accessories and half the shoes.

    It's also nice to know that the cut of some of the jackets (e.g. the green and dark grey one) is almost identical to pieces from the 2000 archive. I guess it's helpful to look up-to-date without having to buy anything new if you're into that kind of thing...

  2. It looks great. A bit more exclusive than usual, I think.

    Although, I can't say that about the sneakers. Since the manufacturing moved from Italy to Portugal this season (SS12), the finish has taken a change for the worse. Especially regarding the soles.

  3. I hope the quality is there, because some of it looks like H&M quality.
    I wish he was still doing minimalism and futurism with very nice fabrics, I think we would all pay countless money on that! I for sure would!

    I hate the kitschy, cheap looking chains and canvas sneakers - I wish they were leather and made in Italy. The only thing I liked was the 90s looking runway sneakers.

    It seems like now all of his stuff ends up on yoox latter for MUCH lower prices or is VERY marked down on Mr Porter because no one is willing to buy it at full price. Even you have probably not purchased any new 'Raf Simons' pieces in years.

  4. really awesome, it makes it all that much better when you contextualise things like this. helps people like me anyway

  5. I love the gradient stuff most, and not just because I saw it last here, but because to me it seems the most-Raf if you know what I mean. Not so keen on the florals as I have never been fond of Liberty-style prints even if these aren't. The small iridescent details are cool, and I love the fact that art is printed onto some of the tank tops - it makes pieces feel very special when the fashion and art worlds collide. I agree with Anon above though - the chains make some of the pieces feel too gimmicky and cheap, and on the whole I don't feel like this collection was as directional as FW12.

  6. freakin stunning post! you are the ultimate RAF fan! that male model's legs are so long and skinny, freakin jealous... why does he have to be so darn cute... *cough* back to the pics, these are really cool, the shoe, the fence inspo that turns into a print, the art work the faces etc... bravo, loves it

    xx nathan.niche

    See my new post if you wanna see me hijack a wooden boat and be silly:

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  7. Perfect post. I love how you put everything into context as well. It makes it easier for me to get his aesthetic (through you showing me his aesthetic if that makes sense...)
    I like what Raf is doing. I think the more gimmicky pieces play off nicely with the tailored, refined pieces.
    The Lovelorn

    1. I totally agree with you Jessica.
      Thanks for the well documented post. It is a well appreciated change in comparison with all the other fashion blog.

  8. Raf's concepts are as honed and progressive as they were when he began almost 20 years ago, but I'm afraid he still hasn't found a proper manufacturer. Some of the knits and poly-blend short sleeve tees appear as chintzy as those produced from the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 collections. The chains are veritable sores on anything they are grafted to and aren't impressive on their own. I'm not asking for Cartier. Only quality.

    That being said, I applaud the "banjee cunt" gesture. (The fitteds were long-overdue...I'm tempted to fit my gigantic noggin into one.) And the elongated lapels (while making a repeat but appreciated appearance) on his shirting and jackets remain a stroke of genius; I feel he's elaborating on cross-decade vintage mixing hinted at during his reign at Jil Sander.

    Oh, and thanks for the insider's eye. Otherwise I'd have nothing to say. ;)

  9. what an awesome collection of coming spring in future.It certainly make me dream!gorgeous pictures.they all collection proud of all of them.thanks for sharing these content.

  10. Ndumiso Dlamini3 August 2012 17:03

    A Prince of Wales check with a brodarie anglaise overlay.
    Its like taking the theme of androgyny and the feminine/masculine interplay to another, more subtle level.
    He's just a genius really...

  11. Really awesome thanks for sharing the blog and keep on updating the blog.

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