Photos: Sonny Vandevelde
Models appearing on escalators is a bit of a Raf Simons show signature, though last time it happened was a full seven years ago here in Paris. Tonight he did it again, at the beautiful-yet-imposing Credit Lyonnais headquarters in the city’s second arrondisement. After last season’s financial scare – the designer parted ways with his manufacturing partner and cancelled all buyer appointments just days before the collection was presented – a return to past favourites probably seemed like a logical plan of attack. And what better place to present them than at a European institution which had once suffered its own financial woes – and come back on top.
Simons’ signature slender black suits were prominent throughout, split and paired with sleeveless tee shirts in coloured leather, sleeveless button-up shirts, short-sleeve shirts and tee shirts.
One new idea was floated – a plaid that appeared right from the get-go. Starting with a matching coat, blazer and undershirt combo, it found its way onto nearly half the looks. In Simons’ hands it became a three-dimensional texture – cut on the bias and sewn back together in panels that created inverted checkerboard shapes; or spliced to give a swirling tornado-like appearance on the backs of garments.
But the standout piece of the collection – and perhaps the season thus far, was a pair of black leather oxford shoes. Simons added a sparkle of gold studs to the upper sole, instantly creating a must-have in the process. Mark my words – come spring next year, they will be the most coveted men’s shoe on the market.
When he took his bow, the audience went wild. Fashion loves itself a comeback kid, and this season Simons is the poster-boy for designers fighting on the ropes. Judging by the crowd reaction, he delivered a knock out performance.
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