Raf Simons turned the tables on the fashion show format—no seats, no runway, no lights—an interesting experience even if the filmy red haze made it difficult to see the clothes. It also precluded the Instagram contingent from celebrating its presence on Twitter. Simons packed the show with new shapes, patterns and colors and that came as jolt after seeing so many classics this season. One has the feeling he’s opening up the realm of possibilities, planting new style seeds that will grow and multiply for seasons to come.
The shoes stood out: Raf Simons for Adidas with punch hole Rs on the sides, light-up mechanisms and stacked, multicolored soles; with a dark suit they might be all one needs. In recent years, fashion media has made it de rigueur to view a designer’s mood board before the show. Simons’ inspirations (Japanese Hokusai seascapes, astronauts, shark sightings, a hemp leaf and an identity photo that might be him as a teenager) were layered portfolio style on the elongated flap backs of jackets and coats like a digital shawl.
Horizontal buttoning and those back flaps looked like sailor uniforms in some sci-fi cartoon dimension. These were shown with secondskin sweaters, some with sleeves covered with Japanese florals like tattoos, topped with two-tone space dye knit vests or mesh T’s. Finally, to show how simple it could all be, Simons created a new uniform: a shirt jacket, patched, I.D. badge style with huge RS reversed logo and photo of that Rafish young man and matching pants. Just the thing for a sailor in digital space. RV