>> Could it be as simple as Rihanna leading by example and opting to wear a few pieces from the Raf Simons S/S 14 collection back in September at a gig in Singapore last year? It might not be the sole reason but it’s probably a contributing factor to the reason I saw a fair number of girls at the shows wearing the printed pieces from Simons’ pop packaging collection, that is currently in-stores at the moment. Simons does seem to make it all too easy for girls to want to delve into the menswear department. Particularly with SS14 and the central print story, which exudes optimism, derived from nylon surfaces of fake packaging. You could bury yourself in analysis of what Simons is trying to say with this investigation of artifice, packaging and commerce (which incidentally dovetails neatly on to the womenswear shows of A/W 14 and the comment on consumerism there). Instead though that main takeaway point is a lighter and easily digestible collection from Simons – ripe with eye-catching prints and contemporary art nod-graphics on Simons’ “new shape of comfort” – a slew of tees, sweatshirts and elongated neoprene sleeveless shirts (that on girls can be worn as dresses) at fairly reasonable prices. His dynamic ready to wear work at the house of Dior may be out of reach for most but his own label is an easier way into Simons’ world of the “New” and the “Now!” (as one of his shirts proclaim). The same probably can’t be said of Simons ‘ AW 14 collection, a collaboration with the artist Sterling Ruby, where limited editions of this fully collaborative artist-designer collection will dictate a higher pricing. Still, that will incite a different sort of desire in me – a hunger for a special piece that feels weighty and significant in its inception. For now though, SS 14’s product galore will more than suffice and it’s a collection that will keep on giving as Simons’ second collaboration with adidas, featured heavily in the show, is still yet to drop. The resulting trainers and chunky boots are even more rambunctious as Simons pushes adidas into new colour and material combo realms. I’m well up for loading up on the garment equivalent of sugar and E-numbers as Simons pushes this artificially-flavoured collection.
P.S. On a stockist’s note, Machine-A and Selfridges are I think the best physical stockists in London, but online The Corner and FarFetch.com have a good selection too.