Raf Simons A/W 2018
Mood board: The cautionary tale of Christiane F, a teenager that took to the streets of 1970s West Berlin, riddled by drug use and addiction, was the main inspiration behind Raf Simons’ latest creations. Entitled ‘Youth in Motion’, the collection not only delved into the dark, rebellious and utilitarian aspects of late 70s/early 80s counter culture, it also wove in text excerpts from Cookie Mueller and Glenn O’Brien’s 1980s play Drugs, which appeared as graphics that were scattered across the garments.
Scene setting: Set on a raised stage adorned with wilting flower arrangements, platters piled with pears, pomegranates, charcuterie, cheese and wedges of chocolates, and a spread of empty bottles and glasses filled with wine and poised for the taking, the opulent backdrop to Simons’ standing room-only presentation was akin to a Flemish still-life tableau brought to life. Juxtaposed by reverberating techno music and club-worthy laser lighting that pierced through the room as models proceeded out in mid-century couture house fashion, the vibrant pastiche of high and low, past and present was an exciting encapsulation of Simons’ brand in totality.
Team work: In addition to sloped shouldered jackets, deconstructed knitwear and tapered trousers embellished with patches printed with abbreviations of narcotic substances like 'LSD' and 'XTC', Simons incorporated imagery and titles from Uli Edel’s 1981 film Christiane F on to t-shirts and garments to mark the persistent relevance that those same troubles have today. In recognition of the taboos still surrounding drugs and addiction, part of the proceeds from this collection will be donated to organisations supporting those recovering from addiction.