It’s not news that Raf Simons partnered up with long time friend and collaborator Sterling Ruby for his A/W14 collection. The runway show itself caused a flurry of up/down social commentary with global style crusaders two-minded in which side of the fence they sat.
Getting up close with the collection, it was only with the backdrop of a mammoth showroom space – albeit in one of the grimiest parts of Paris – that the collection could be properly digested. Upon closer inspection with only mild reservation, this particular bridge between art and fashion started to make sense.
The marriage of the two worlds is not a new voyage – Schiaparelli and Dali were first to conquer the relationship between designer and artist with Vuitton and Kusama as a more recent example. Some years later and the strength of what is a naturally evolving partnership saw the Simons namesake literally alter to include Sterling Ruby and we ride a new wave of design meeting art.
"Some years later and the strength of what is a naturally evolving partnership saw the Simons namesake literally alter to include Sterling Ruby and we ride a new wave of design meeting art"
True that this wasn’t the first time Simons collaborated with Ruby. During the last decade the couple joined to design a capsule denim collection for S/S10 followed by Ruby heavily influencing the layout and design of the Raf Simons now defunct Aoyama store.
A/W14 however was a special link-up and whole heartedly ‘on-brand’, effectively relaying a signature on the back of overbearing messages of consumption which included hotly-ticketed motif plastered across your typical Simons staples – lest we overlook the hoof-like moon walker boots reminiscent of a Bowie clip - all supported by light hearted Americana subtly resting in the backdrop.
A strong message was being communicated but one which didn’t distract from a relative playfulness – in true Raf Simons style.
Text by Andrew Blyszak