A few weeks after the highly anticipated SS21 Prada collection, where he debuted as co-creative director of the Italian fashion house, Raf Simons is back to unveil the first womenswear collection under his namesake brand. Despite being the brand’s first official womenswear line, true Raf stans can tell you this isn’t the designer’s first foray into womenswear, as he oversaw womenswear collections during his time at Dior, Calvin Klein, and, my favourite era of Raf, Jil Sander.
Titled “Teenage Dreams”, the show was inspired by films like Zabriskie Point, Annihilation, Alice in Wonderland, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream. Carpeted in yellow-ish moss, the set featured eery trees with barren branches, spiderweb-like nets, and deep purple lightening.
As the first model emerged, through a hole in the wall, we got our first look at the collection. The glossy-eyed model made his way into the spooky magical garden on all fours, wearing a tight, teal turtleneck the read “Welcome Home, Children of the Revolution” in bold black letters. Simons has always had a fascination with youth culture. And while this year’s unique and particular brand of protests, socio-political issues, and unrest undoubtedly had influence on his vision, make no mistake, Simons’ exploration of youth culture, rebellion, and revolution are filtered through his own lens.
As for the collection itself, we saw bold graphics, oversized sweaters, audacious colour combos, and other Raf Simons design signatures. One thing about Raf Simons, he’s going to colour-block. Lavender, yellow, orange and green swirling, Pucci-esque prints evoked a modern -psychedelic feel. And the spooky 70’s vibe was hammered home by a myriad of lengthy silk skirts, bishop sleeve blouses, colourful turtlenecks and flared bellbottoms. Youthful models slunk around to the pulsing beat in slim silhouettes, wearing sleeveless tunics over tight sheer tattoo tops.
With Halloween is a short week away, Raf Simons’ show and presentation couldn’t have come at a better time. The retro “flower power” theme, paired with horror, cult-like undertones make for a collection that most fans of the industry-titan will happily eat up.