Raf Simons Spring 2018 menswear show yesterday evening – his second time presenting in New York – was a much needed jolt of freshness and excitement amid his largely predictable Men’s Fashion Week peers.
Inspired by the classic 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner, Simons set his show under the Manhattan Bridge in a nighttime Chinese food market, complete with neon lights, wet pavement, and lanterns printed with imagery from the designer’s collaborator, artist Peter Saville. The latter was responsible for the stark, iconic imagery of those early Joy Division and New Order album covers.
The audience was standing-only, and more a-list than at much of the week’s previous events: A$AP Rocky, Marc Jacobs, and Julianne Moore were among those in attendance.
Jacobs had told Vogue: “I love Raf and he’s a good friend, so I’m very glad he’s here. Although, I saw more of him before he got here than since he’s here . . . but, you know, Raf makes fashion. He’s a creator. So he brings a creativity to American fashion which I think is lacking.”
The clothes made reference to many signature Simons pieces past, only with a dystopian twist. There were several shiny trenches, printed bucket hats with matching neck ties, shirts bearing the word “Replicant,” as well as off-the-shoulder sweaters, wide-legged trousers, and an excess of plaid patterns. Accessories included, fittingly, galoshes and umbrellas, some with glowing rods, and little pouches in collaboration with Eastpak.
Soundtrack-wise, the music was a familiar Simons amalgamation of genres that only served to enhance the gritty, action-movie aesthetic of the whole scene.