RUNWAY: Raf Simons SS15How can Belgian designer Raf Simons outdo his much lauded Fall/Winter 2014 collection with Sterling Ruby? It seemed highly unlikely that he could create something as inspiring or interesting but he did just that. As the first model came paraded down the concrete runway in an all-black outfit (an overcoat, tank slim fit trousers) it seemed Simons was back to his old, pared back style. It wasn't until the model turned around that the audience, who were all standing, saw the first hints of what this collection was all about.
Without seeming self involved, Simons made the collection all about himself . He injected his personal life and career, as well as the lives of his loved ones throughout the collection via old photos and references to milestones. It all started with a photo of his parents on a date, prior to his birth. Then there was a photo of a long-haired Raf on an elongated shirt with his initials on the breast. Simons, who is naturally reserved, opened up about his life and career for the world to see without uttering a word. There was Japanese iconography to pay homage to the first retailers who carried his line to his personal love of horror movies (see the appliquéd sharks) and there were astronauts in space to convey the isolation he sometimes feels. To say it was an emotional ride is an understatement.
As for the clothes themselves, they were spectacular in their tailoring and details. Slim fit trousers bucked the multi-season trend of roomy, if not voluminous, pants while well cut coats, jackets and suits offered a special design aspect: horizontal buttons, instead of the typical vertical type. Small details like the ribbing on a coat or the laser cut of a tank top layered over another tank made the collection a sight to behold. The question now is, how can he top this?