Raf Simons brought a new level of excitement to New York Men’s Fashion Week with his Spring/Summer 2018 collection. While his namesake label may be on the back burner compared to his work as creative director of Calvin Klein, Simons showed that he’s extremely self-aware of his history and legacy as a premier menswear designer. The show occurred outside in Manhattan, with Simons choosing a chinatown location not far from the East Broadway bridges and the area’s signature neon lighting. The real city backdrop was a clear translation of Blade Runner’s future dystopia.
While the outdoor New York setting was new for Simons, it’s well in line with his tradition of building atmosphere and emotion into his collections. His designs are elevated by their mood and presentation. Certainly this wasn’t the only way that Simons looked back, with Simons bringing back the type of Saville graphics that are now an iconic part of his archive. The iconic Joy Divison’s Unknown pleasures graced shirting and Saville’s New Order typography was printed onto the Chinese style lanterns that lit the runway.
The clothing itself was a mix of long knee length coats, oversized hats, high boots and oversized screen printed items. Button-downs with the word Replicant were a direct nod to the film. Raf has always been at his best when he stands at the intersection of personal influences, in this collection music, new york, and a dystopia film set combine to create a world that we are lucky to visit for a season, “More human than human” indeed.