Sunday, January 23, 2011



A great opening number for Raf Simons' Fall 2011

Raf Simons goes humble on us. Well, it's not exactly the aesthetics of Raf Simons, to be described as modest, but it has always seemed like it to me. The shape takes seat up front as the show stealer this season, parkas and toggle coats in rounded shoulders and sleeves turning the Raf Simons' Fall 2011 client into a chic, sort of "threw-it-on" youngin' who appreciates great craftsmanship and pure style. That makes it humble, Simons' good estimate of his expertise and taste and giving it to his followers in a straight-up offering of  handsome shape and color.

As these things would go, I usually spend this paragraph studying the pieces, then color goes later, but this one is an exception. I could already imagine the effect of the clothes, live, on the eyes, as magentas and purples march down the runway in solid coats. Red too was a looker, used as the hue of choice for a bulky parka and I already see a smaller version for a little, stylish boy. It proved a story when the neutrals got mixed with the hypers, like a camel coat worn over another, buttoned up long version in violet. Or how a plain black coat is held by two cubes of energetic blue and red (I think) as buttons. Or how a purple coat is paired with a smooth black leather jacket and a beige scarf, all on white and black. It's amazing just how much color could do to a look. In this case, it not only freshens the palette, but highlights the mastery of cut and fabric of the clothes. As the first look demonstrated, the Robert Pattinson looking model works his way down the runway and all you ever stare at is are those delicious creases on the toggle coat, the smooth glimmer of a red collar peaking from underneath, and that strict dark gray tie that breaks the white from the red then from the caramel...These factors combined creates a swell look, so rich in color, texture but rarely overwhelming.

To keep things on the elegant low, sweaters in soft, boxy shapes with various messages sprawled across the chest like university regalia were good attempts at sportswear and also looking prim and proper inside a meeting for the creative department. Jackets, ones cut well still held the soft form of Simons done in velvety camel at a glance frumpy looking but when worn with razor-sharp, good black trousers and dress shoes the look is most definitely young, instead of ridiculous. Trousers came as stories too. While they were all mostly black, the materials like a wet, malleable leather came wide, also jersey or silk came in either wide-legged cuts or straight and chic. The effect was amazing, placing volume on the right places and cutting down on it when up top it gets heavy. And that is a tasteful study on balance, one, again, I attribute to a modest measure of what the label is about.

The notes on Tim Blanks' reviews suggests a collegiate slant to the collection, one we obviously see, but in my words it's a young, humble look that manages being elegant without the pretentions of say a dinner jacket too sleek and shiny for a youngin' at heart. This collection's swell shape and delicious color story will make it big real soon...





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