Raf Simons' menswear has matured in recent seasons and the designer has acquired the mantle as the arbitrator of sartorial modernity. His collections now summarise and represent the best new ideas in contemporary menswear and his autumn winter show endorsed this position. A fusion of traditional menswear set against synthetic and active fabrics, resulted in several innovative propositions. The first outfit, a relatively sombre double breasted grey suit was fastened with metallic disc buttons, and on the back a geometric black panel was inserted. An apparently subtle detail, but testimony to Simons' acute attention to detail and construction. Panels of velcro then appeared across suiting on sleeves, cuffs and the fronts of jackets. Although formal suits were the key component of the collection, Simons subverted the notion of formality by contrasting formal wear with sporty detailing, deconstructed garments and synthetic outer wear. Multi-tiered rain coats resembled skirts being worn under traditional macs and long shirting hung loose under formal jackets. Elongated and figure hugging knitwear resembled dresses, but worn with suit trousers made an attempt to retain some masculinity. Skirts made an appearance, masquerading as rain coats and nylon corsets were bound over suits. Jackets were deconstructed and rebuilt with synthetic padding. Simons' show shared similar themes as seen at Comme des Garcons in the form of protection and the concept of contrasting tradition and modernity, the acceptable and the challenging. An exciting proposal for next reason, Simons certainly still has the edge.
A fusion of traditional menswear set against synthetic and active fabrics, resulted in several innovative propositions.