Raf Simons, Spring/Summer '09 (scroll down to read the review)
Spread out on the floor of the courtyard of the Lycee Buffon, in black and white (in the style of artist Christopher Wool), was a quotation by Leonard Cohen: there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in'. As fashions foremost futurist, Simons may have been first attracted to Cohens's 1992 album for its title The Future, but there was sure to be more to it than that.
According to Simons his idea was for 'a tailored collection without any suits', revisiting ideas from his first ever collection that was never actually shown. He also said that it was 'anti pyjama' or at least the opposite of the pyjama-dressing trend running through Milan and Paris.
So in the place of the traditional two or three piece suit, Simons proposed rigorous and structured combinations such as the gilet that resembled a footmans coat without the sleeves, tank and tunics worn with pants or shorts, or as an alternative, the tailored all-in-one.
It was pure Simons, yet even more severe and minimal even by his standards, with precision detailing exquisitely executed and concentrated round the sleeve head and the lapel (or lack of).
Fabric too was minimal, as around 50 per cent of the cloth in the collection was hand embroidered. If there were ever embroidery for men, this would be it: it was a more a study of surface than decoration. A degradé gilet and tank was actually cut from white cloth, with black stitches criss-crossing all over, which became smaller and more compactly spaced, so much so the garment ended up totally black.