Best show from New York Men's Fashion Week SS18: Raf Simons

One for the books

Text: Jolene Khor , Veronika Bondarenko

Raf hints at a new order and continues his search for substance within the world of fashion

The collection: In one of the most highly anticipated menswear previews of the season, Raf Simons came out not with a bang, but with a splash. This isn't the first aqua reference in New York as of late, but Raf Simons is nothing if not a league of his own. Oversized coats in severe asymmetry (looks 1, 17 and 21), sprinkles of vividly painted plaid (looks 31, 32 and 45) and inky graphic smears calling for 'New Order' (looks 18, 22 and 37) took centre stage in the collection, with details such as rain boots and gardening hats lending his reluctantly tropical turn quite the unexpected — but welcomed —domestic undertone beating beneath the punk, plastic, high-octane method. With jackets worn in reversal (looks 19 and 20) and sweaters shrugged beyond the vicinity of the shoulder (look 11), we can't help but point out the tension we sensed from his construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of garments. Is Simons making up for the lack of 'Substance' within the industry he's so vocal about with the superfluity of his fabrication? Also, what happened to the chairs? A less cynical reviewer might avoid pointing to how fashion editors and social media influencers were essentially stripped of their FROW thrones, but where's the fun in that? Besides, something tells us Simons might cheer on our little dig.

Set design: New York's Chinatown served as both figurative and literal catalysts for Raf Simons' latest work. Chinese lanterns and neon character signs lit the alley under the Manhattan Bridge; the makeshift runway made less lonely by smoke, cart vendors, and the sound of trains overhead.

We spy: Kim Kardashian West wearing a Raf Simons single-button pinstripe blazer a day before the show. Now that's some string pulled.

All coverage of men's fashion week spring 2018


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