Raf Simons takes Manhattan

Raf Simons on Wednesday took Manhattan, injecting doses of cool and kudos into New York men's fashion week that to date has been largely absent.

Using the lowest denominator of trims, the pedestrian packing staple that is duct tape, Simons replaced belts with tape, wrapping it around oversize evening coats and gilets, with motifs such as the typographical design of Milton Glaser's I heart New York and slogan Walk With Me.

The message was an ode to Manhattan, from the first arrival from a tourist perspective to being embedded in the culture of one of the world's greatest cities. Simons himself is a recent immigrant, having left Europe to creatively helm the Calvin Klein brand, due to be unveiled on the catwalk in just over a week.

Raf Simons takes Manhattan

Accessorising with duct tape spoke volumes

Simon's own label is now well into its second decade, and showing in New York is likely as much a logistical decision as it was do present something novel.

There was a sense of a new uniform for this collection. Satin coats felt military and 'proper', perhaps because the models wearing them were mere boys. The silhouette was as we saw in Paris, oversize and baggy. Waistcoats, taped closed, were worn with roomy trousers whilst knitwear came in off-beat stripes with dropped shoulders and varying lengths. Some cropped and layered over shirting, a continuation from SS17.

Raf Simons takes Manhattan

What did it mean? Simons told Vogue.com “I wanted to approach it from the combination of a mindset of someone who comes to New York in the beginning, a kid let’s say. When you are a young kid you end up in the places that are very tourist, that confront you with all these things, the Statue of Liberty, the I Love… I wanted to go back to how I experienced New York in the beginning and combine it with how I experience it now. So this fresh young direction to the city and everything it stands for--and what is happening now."

The fashion world awaits the debut of Calvin Klein during New York women's fashion week on February 9th.

Photo credit: Catwalkpictures

 

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