For next season Raf Simons is not interested in trousers. For his winter 2012 offering the designer focused on the coat and it came oversized and textured - the aesthetic harking back to Simons's early experiments with shape and silhouette. The coats were worn over cut-off trousers and signaled a change, a poignant move towards a rejuvenated and exciting menswear concept. This redirection, a move away from sartorial elegance that has defined Simon’s recent collections was unexpected - but interesting.
Entitled ‘Run Fall Run’ the street informed collection took Simons back to his youthful roots and also nodded towards grunge. The main message of Simon’s winter collection was the oversized tailoring, as suit jackets and thick overcoats swamped the sinewy models. Simons used colour in chunky waffle-knit sweaters in mustard, green and cobalt blue. As models sported brightly coloured floppy fringes, coloured locks also hung down the back of shirts, jackets and coats.
Raf Simon’s has always challenged silhouettes and using techno fabrics is nothing new for the designer. The return to Simons's early signature aesthetic, which is industrial and dark, fusing strongly cut classic menswear and street wear-influences was a brave move. Simons’s collection may appear preoccupied with adolescence, but Simons excels at is pushing the taste barometer and presenting radical ideas that challenge the current mood in menswear.
Simon’s clothes are always impeccably cut and always convey a contemporary aesthetic. But was this a stellar Raf show? Not really – but it did show how Simons has the confidence to pull away from the sartorial stance that is currently saturating the menswear market - and consequently move his prophecy forward.