You know you have a pretty stunning collection on your hands when you're able to reduce fashion writer par excellence Tim Blanks of Style.com to cliches. And big ones. "It's impossible for Simons to design anything that doesn't come straight from the heart." Oh Tim, "straight from the heart." Really? But this Dior collection by Raf Simons (pronounced rauph SEE-mon) was sufficiently breathtaking I had no choice but to give a getouttajailfree card to one of the few fashion writers I actually enjoy.
Actually, I have discovered that Natalie Joos ain't half bad needah and I really miss the cheeky coverage Cathy Horyn enjoyed dishing out for the New York Times. And one of her supreme superpowers is her ability to swat aside the thick fog of fashion-speak that emanates in great clouds from the BS factory that is the fashion show backstage interview; somehow, she's able to ignore the smoke and telescope in on the fire simmering beneath the PR hype - and actually ascertain what's worth knowing about. Like Raf Simons. Back in mid-2004, Horyn wrote: "What Mr. Simons did in an instant was to render the day, and most of the previous one of the spring men's collections, obsolete. In 18 years of reporting on fashion, the last 5 at this post, I have stood up from only a handful of shows with a conviction that everything had been transformed."
The irony is, she had almost given the Raf Simons Spring 2005 show a miss. "It was far away and very late," she continues. "And I had already begun to put my ducks in a row: Louis Vuitton (English flannels, cricket sweaters, silk pajamas -- or ''Brideshead Revisited'' on a commercial level); Dries van Noten (Prince Harry on a pub and country-house crawl, with fab kilts); Junya Watanabe (potential potheads in Alpine hats and plaids lurking amid the edelweiss)."
IMO, the edelweiss potheads have yet to be topped in a fashion show review.
Trumping the alpine-hatted weed-smokers, PJ wearing LV label whores and Prince Harry pubcrawlers were Simons's forward-looking silk shirts, other-worldly looking white-leather trousers and chunky sneakers resembling a mashup of NASA and N.E.R.D. "In the fabrics, in the modern proportions -- in the way a slim leather tunic resembled a T-shirt or a white nylon raincoat floated over a suit -- it was evident that Mr. Simons was trying to work out fashion's next passage," observes Horyn. "I don't know why it is that out of a generation of so-called visionaries, only a few have Mr. Simons's capacity to deal with the future in a believable way. I don't want to see any more flabby impressions of the 1970's or hear them described as ''ironic.'' And I don't want to go to ''another country,' because that country doesn't exist anymore."
What does? The future. Which Raf has long been committed to cracking. ("When he came to Dior," observed Tim Blanks in his review of the Fall 2014 show, "Simons talked a lot about his fascination with the secret codes of couture and women's clothing.") The Raf Simons show invite for Spring 2005 gave a fedora-tip to anyone or -thing that changed the world, including Alan Turing, the man who helped end World War II by cracking the Enigma code. "Dress codes and gestures and attitudes have alwaysinspired me, as has youth culture in general, although now I question it more," he noted in a 2008 interview. "If you analyze youth cultures over history, there has always been something strict about them-you have to be like this or like that. I'm actually surprised that in the 21st century, it can still be so present: They are still environments with walls around them." (image)
How does all this relate to the Supremium fashion tribe? You'll have to listen the podcast to find out!
Music: Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com
- Lesley Scott
- Lesley Scott