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Following in last year’s exclusive designer collaborations, Mr. Porter has released this season’s newest range of specially made capsule collections with five designer’s Alexander Wang, Raf Simons, Ami, Grenson and Beams Plus.
First up is Japanese brand Beams Plus, featuring frayed shorts, t-shirts and button-down polo shirts which feature surfing cartoons throughout from large placements to fun conversational prints - each items keeping to the brands distinctive American east coast meets far east.
Followed by cult French brand Ami’s nostalgic Bretons and sharp casuals, then Grenson follow with a series of streetwise derby boots to Alexander Wang’s who continues with his staple sports inspired pared-down apparel, from futuristic panelled blouson to a modernist two tone formal shirt.
Whilst Raf Simons continues his menswear shake up with this masculine-femme approach, focusing on reoccurring painterly vines of floral prints placed on a range of Raf Simons’ youthful blank canvas. Apparel shapes range from Simons’ signature boxy sweaters and sharp white short-sleeve shirts. Whilst leg wear and footwear includes statement floral panelled formal shorts to colour popping floral hi-tops.
All collections will be available exclusively from Mr Porter.
June sees the release of the next in the edition of fashion portfolos curated by I-D founder Terry Jones for Taschen. Following on from Jones’ extensive books on Vivienne Westwood and Rei Kawakubo, this time around it’s the turn of Dior creative Director and menswear pioneer Raf Simons.
Originally an industrial designer, Simons debuted his first fashion collection back in 1995 with his now pioneering self titled menswear label. His trademark slim tailoring and penchant for street-casting his model has gone on to shape an entire generation and cemented his position as one of the most revolutionary contemporary menswear designers.
But it was Raf Simons appointment at Jil Sander that shaped his career; during his six-year tenure he repositioned the brand to the height of the luxury market. Not only was the brand commercially and critically re-positioned, it was now the go to brand for leading the season in both womenswear and menswear. So as Simons completes his third collection for his new appointment at Dior, this book gives you a perfect look back at his career so far.
Delving deep into the i-D archive, the large format 120 page portfolio includes stunning imagery from photographers including Willy Wavanderperre, Solve Sundsbo and Alasdair McLella, together with interviews by Terry and Tricia Jones, Holly Shackleton, Jo-Ann Furniss and James Anderson.
Available June 2013 from Taschen worldwide.
Raf Simons’ proclaimed that the A/W 13 collection aims to shake menswear up and present a new proposition to the current menswear silhouette. Incorporating many elements from dandy sensibilities seen in slender shapes, 70’s exuberant detailing and layering to the use of playful cartoon repeats seen throughout. A representation of Simons fascination with the psychology of cartoon characters, which included classic dandy panto tale Puss ‘n’ Boots.
Simons has of cause been hinting towards a new shift in menswear for the last couple of seasons, when shirting was given a contemporary 70’s vibe with a series of exaggerated collaring in his Spring 13 collection. But this is a new vision, gone are the boxy neoprene shapes and futurism in favour of a new naturalism using just simple clothing in cotton and wool.
From the retro inspired snug fitting conversational pattern tanks teamed over long collared disco shirts and floor length loose fitting trousers in shiny satin and wool. Whilst dandified silhouettes included a series of fit-and-flare coats created a dramatic twist between Edwardian formality and medical coats, bright coloured pointy shirting teamed with roll necks to lightweight safari shirting.
This is a timely approach to the current menswear climate, ‘moving back to go forward’ has worked and draws uncanny similarities to Miuccia Prada’s own seventies apartment lounge wear inspired collection. With both designers this season ultimately encouraging men to shake it up, gently pushing forward a new and less severe approach to style in favour of loose fitting basic with a 70’s slant.
It wouldn’t be winter without a fun novelty knit, we love this childlike offering from Raf Simons’ last collection for Jil Sander. Extinct and endangered mammal silhouette motifs are placed on a thick camel blend jumpers, from twin red T-Rex’ on navy to charming cartoon whale luxe green.
We love this shirt from the Raf Simons eight installment of his collaboration with Fred Perry. The spring/summer 2013 collection takes direct inspiration from Raf’s own Spring 12 collection, updating classic shirting with triple paneling of contrasting prints.
We got all excited when we saw Raf Simons’ reworking of iconic oversized seventies collars on this clinical white shirt from his Spring 2013 collection. Managing to produce a perfect playful twist to the classic formal white shirt.
The hype around Raf Simons initial offering for Dior has been immense. The tense build up yesterday afternoon could even be felt all the way over here in London thanks to incessant, but much desired updates courtesy of Twitter.
The pairing of Mr. Simons and Christian Dior hinted at genius, but was also anchored by uncertainty. How could a designer famed for his modernist and innovative approach to both women’s and menswear revive Dior post-Galliano? After yesterday’s show, Simons method and approach is now clear.
Obviously, the Dior archive is immense, the ‘New Look’ is still often cited as a key moment in fashion’s history, and has been the mainstay of Dior’s aesthetic ever since. As Simons flirted with the fuller, more womanly design approach in his last collection for Jil Sander he was already in good stead to deliver the Dior visual brand language with his own slant.
The collection offered three main pillars:
'Playing with materials and volume' using mink, astrakhan and textured layering in a fearless move which will no doubt incense PETA, delivering garments with static shapes.
‘Elegant Androgyny’ carefully pairing tailored, straight and functional trousers with gowns, in a non-skort, 90’s way but in an elegant, yet authoritative way.
'Staying true to the brand' pieces whose inception was a direct influence of the archive with new details to bring them up to date. Focus on the bust, accentuating breasts in not overtly sexy way, digital bright printing and simple but effective tailoring added a new take to the much loved Dior staple.
Images courtesy of Giovanni Giannoni for WWD.com
Spotted whilst waiting for the Hardy Amies presentation, this 50’s quiffed gent shows his admiration for Jil Sander in this (almost) head to toe look. Teaming a Teal oversized collar shirt with a thick space dye cut off knit, retro high waisted dark navy pleated trousers, black and white sneakers and finished with a yellow python and plastic tote.
With so much speculation around the coveted position of couturier at the house of Dior, there was even speculation over Marc Jacobs taking up the role last year. So when it was announced that minimalist maestro Raf Simons was taking on the position we weren’t so shocked, it all falls into place after his fresh and feminine last collection for Jil Sander.
Ever since we heard about the demise of one of our most favourable collaborations, we have wanted to some how document this moment. So here is the first part of a two part retrospective looking back at the collections headed up by Mr. Raf Simons.
Back in 2005 Raf Simon took to the helms of iconic German minimalist brand Jil Sander, he has since gone on to not only make the label one of the hottest ticket on the menswear schedule but also lead and pioneer the landscape of contemporary menswear. The last ever collection under Simon’s demonstrated his ability to constantly transform and evolve the Jil Sander brand from colour blocking bights to oil slick sinister hybrids.
So here is our definitive look back at the works of Raf and Jil.
Firstly Simons debut menswear A/W 2006 collection, a mixture of formal hybrids, technical quilted materials and reworked formal wear. Our highlights included a sinister formal double coating look mixing a aubergine rubber look knee length coat under a more formal coat, whilst a duffle peacock hybrid echoes things to come.
The Spring/Summer 2007 collection was a celebration of volume and balance, consisting of volumous coats, tees and crisp plastic tent-shaped raincoats in a sea of electric blue. Simon’s volumous t-shirt reworked the traditional t-shirt shape with its boxy silhouette and long arms, becoming a staple Jil Sander menswear shape from then on.
The Autumn/Winter 2007 collection included quilted iridescent blue and copper blouson and flight jacket hybrids, whilst Simon’s cited Antony Gormley as a influence for the collection aiming to re-shape and push forward silhouettes producing slim volumes which create a masculine and elegant minimalist statement.
Spring/Summer 2008 was an airy, light and energetic collection. Transparent cut off 50’s shaped shirts, nylon blazers, grid-esque abstract prints and technical sporty fabric suits dominated the collection. Our highlights from the show include a transparent formal sport suiting and a mint green 50’s bowler style plastic shirt.
Autumn/Winter 2008-9 was the season of prints and construction showcasing textural knits, sharp tailored suits in a palette of pale yellow, colbalt blue and red to the striking use of marble and water patterns in suiting and overcoats. Our highlights from the show include a monochromatic printed overcoat and matching jumper to the dramatic print on print head-to-toe suiting.
Spring/Summer 2009 saw Simon’s return back to the Jil Sander roots reinventing the traditional suit, using deconstructed silhouettes to give the suit a sporty minimalist update. Lapels are removed, buttons are replaced with statement zips and fabrics are in contrasting 80’s sport colours.
For Autumn/Winter 2009 Simon’s utilised bold statement block oversize smudge ethereal prints, whilst silhouettes were sculpted into hourglass shapes and bulky rounded shoulders.
For the Spring/Summer 2010 Simon’s bowl hair styling and palette of subdued pale colours create uniformity for each look. Sleek clinical aesthetics are met with a playful side from a kissing picture mural print, transparent facial print to gold accent shoes and tees.
For Autumn/Winter 2010 the collection a much more somba affair with a pale calm palette that’s accompanied by a ad-hoc pocket placement effect that sprawls over a selection of garments from a white roller neck to a beige minimalist suit.
For Spring/Summer 2011 a garden maze set the background for a colour burst of orange, pink and yellow in a series of signature Jil Sander simple tailoring. Slim-fit trousers, roller neck tops in candy colours, short twin suiting all dramatically colour blocked. Worlds a way from the previous collection this was collection that set the path for an onslaught of vibrant colour blocking in menswear design.
Autumn/Winter 2011 was the more subdued answer to the previous season using acid yellow’s, smokey fuchsia and burnt orange in a series of sharp tailoring. Three-piece suiting, double roller necks and rubber look tee were highlights of the collection.
Spring/Summer 2012 was a collection that shook up and retracted back to darker more somba moods. Python prints, dense space dye knits, transparent tailored capes and blazers were styled with slick black hair created an eerie dark setting. This was a collection that ran away from last season’s more wearable colour blocking collection and was replaced by a black and austere sense of style.
And finally the last menswear collection under the helm of Raf Simons. The Autumn/Winter 2012 collection was held in an underground car park this is a sinister affair and a much apt start to this seasons collection black leather is everywhere from an all-in-one suits, paper-lunch bags and slick tees act like an homage to the Matrix in parts whilst we are met with a playful moment in a series of science museum motif thick knits.
This look at the Raf Simons autumn/winter 2012-13 collection at Paris fashion week provided us with our pick of the day. Creating boxy silhouettes in this look Raf Simons creates baggy layering effect teaming a gradient tri-coloured jumper, oversized shirt styled on top of a tailored shirt producing an interested contrast of shapes in clashing autumnal palettes of teal, bottle green, aubergine.