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Raf Simons: Transparent Tailoring

Godfrey Deeny
June 27th, 2009 @ 12:13 AM - Paris

Raf Simons unveiled his latest menswear collection Friday night, June 26, in a giant Paris institute for the hearing impaired, and the collection spoke several volumes about what’s new in fashion.

Few collections better underlined the current craze by designers for using transparent fabrics and juxtaposing materials in otherwise classically tailored suits.

In Simons' case, this involved placing an interior lining on the outside of jackets, or cutting side “windowpanes” of see-through nylon on the sides of coats.

For Spring 2010, Simons pulled off several surprises, like ribbed pullovers with sleeves made of pinstripe worsted fabrics or bowling jackets featuring multi-zip fronts.

“I’ve seen some beautiful men’s clothes in the last few years, but little that has excited me," said Simons. "So I wanted some emotion in these clothes.”

The clothes were beautifully tailored and the show had great charm, staged on a massive terrace before a garden of rose arbors and exotic smelling plants.

Simons’ night job is as designer of Jil Sander, a true temple of minimalism, but his own line has always had a quirkier touch, emphasized by the transparent silk tunics with prints featuring angry serpents circling their prey.

“I really want to impose my brand,” said the designer of this imagery, whose curly shape was echoed on the back of every models’ head – they all boasted miniature pigtails at the nape of their necks.

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