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. Of course, I LOVED it all. The 1995 archive collection doesn't feature this season, so the showroom had many more mainline pieces than previous years, including items which were not shown on the runway. Speaking objectively, not just from my I-HEART-RAF perspective, the collection had a real depth and variety to it this season, more so than any other Raf collection I have seen in the showroom, in terms of range of different pieces and attitudes; fabrics and materials; and technical innovations.

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:

TIME Magazine, 17 August 1992

The Fence (2007) by Nadia Ayari

Untitled (2007) by Michael DeLucia

Point Break (2009) by Didier Faustino

Tulips (1995 - 2004) by Jeff Koons

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

Totally the uniform for wearing here:

Interior of Communist Party of France HQ, Paris, designed by Oscar Niemeyer

Really strong slim-fit tailoring this season..

There were so many amazing shirts in the showroom, with all different collars, and cuts and sleeve lengths. A whole series had been created by putting visible, stiff reinforcing (the stuff usually used in collars and cuffs) underneath thin, gauzy materials creating this deconstructed, panelled effect:

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.

At the moment Raf is obsessed with eyes and horizons...