At New York Fashion Week, Raf Simons Presents His Own Movable Feast

One can usually suppose a large raging calls to publicists that contingency have been done on receipt of a invitation to Raf Simons’s New York Fashion Week menswear show. “Standing room only” was created in place of a chair assignment. Was it a snub? Retaliation for disastrous coverage? A stipulation of fight from a House of Raf?

Nothing of a sort, as it incited out. Scrapping a hierarchical seating complement that typically governs shows from New York to Milan, Simons reverted a courtesy to a stage, that took a form of a immeasurable carried dais, dirty with a detritus of a intemperate feast. Goblets half-filled with wine, defeated Champagne bottles, and mounds of cabbages, eggplants, and damaged loaves of bread gave a sense that a evening’s important guest —among them N.B.A. actor Kelly Oubre Jr., A$AP Rocky, Kyle MacLachlan, and influencer Luka Sabbat—had intruded on a residue of a rough night during a European nation house.

Once a wunderkind artistic executive of Dior (and theme of a acclaimed documentary Dior and I), Raf Simons has managed to captivate and ceaselessly beguile an attention increasingly disposed to preening introspection. Writing in The New York Times final year, Guy Trebay called Simons a “welcome . . . newness in a city and business mislaid in indecision,” that maybe explains a packaged residence and line around a retard final night during a room in Hell’s Kitchen that housed his show.

While, during first, guest grappled with Raf’s riff on an Evelyn Waugh novel (at one point, A$AP Rocky, evidently undeterred by a idea of leftovers, carried a half-filled booze potion from a theatre and sipped it via a show), a account clicked when a uncover began. The models, with their malnutritioned beauty, looked like emaciated students during an costly general boarding propagandize (perhaps in Gstaad) home again for winter break. Mid-century conservatism—Prince of Wales checks, houndstooth suits, woolen duster coats, weave navy turtlenecks—merged with a disco kink of 1970s Berlin nightclubs: elbow-length latex gloves, rubber boots, and a sleeveless hoodie with a word “DRUGS” emblazoned on a chest. These were a building blocks of Simons’s fall/winter collection, and they carried a screen on a girl of a famously concise designer.

It was both disarming and fantastic to watch a Belgium-born Simons skilfully manipulate literary allusion. As a models paraded among a candelabra, eggplants, and china strewn about a stage, Simons invited us to knowledge his Proustian moment, revelation his story wordlessly by a aesthetics of a stormy Flemish childhood, with all the attendant poetry, nostalgia, and only a hold of enlightenment for those looking for it. The uncover was reasonably patrician “Youth in Motion,” and Simons ravished all benefaction with his possess mobile feast.

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