Raf Simons Fall 2017: Open Love Letter to New York

If all the “I heart New York white and black tees worn under every look are any indication Raf Simons has embraced New York with open arms. As the Belgian designer takes up the mantel of creative director at Calvin Klein, he also shifted his own two decades old, cult menswear label from Paris to New York. The architect trained Simons surpassed all expectations with the debut of his Fall 2017 menswear collection in New York.  Simons sent out a playful homage to his beloved new hometown with a mix of slouchy knits and polished evening wear that perfectly illustrates his point of view.  The iconic “I love New York” typography created by Milton Glaser in the 70s peeked out from under coats, and between lapels on open knit sweaters.  An oversized cream sweater that read “I love you” and “New York” is a play on the well-known “I love NY” tourist souvenirs T-shirts.

Raf Simons Fall 2017 Debuts at New York Men’s Fashion Week

As the models made their way down the catwalk to the haunting sound of Roxy Music’s “In Every Dream Home A Heartache,” oversized sweaters hung loosely on the body, sometimes off one shoulder, with sleeves that fell way past the model’s hands. A series of polished topcoats dominated the collection in shades of ivory, camel and sleek, black satin for evening. The coats were styled with knit arm warmers with varsity stripes in red, orange, white, green, and black. The “arm warmers” were a shout out to his recently announced partnership with The Woolmark Company, which will produce all the Merino wool knits seen throughout Raf Simons’ collection. The waist is a focal point and many of the looks were cinched with industrial duct tape emblazoned with statements like “Walk With Me” and “Youth Project.”  It was a clever styling trick that added a bit of edge and allowed the silhouettes to vary. The winners hands-down were the outerwear pieces, and the many hard-to-pin down vests that draped across the models’ bodies.  The clothes were bold and exciting, and slightly feminine worn with jewellery that resembled a punk rocker’s pearl necklace. Raf Simons hails from the worlds of architecture and art, and the diversity he brings to the men’s shows in New York is unparalleled.  With his latest New York men’s show, Raf Simons heralds a new chapter for his brand and for the city of New York.  We should all be so fearless.

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