That Raf Simons is one of the fashion industry’s leading innovators is assured; as such the Belgian designer’s contemporary presentations need not push the boundaries of the medium, as Simons solidified his progressive credentials long ago. However, Fall/Winter 2020 is not the output of a designer resting on his laurels, with Simons elevating his signature design ethos with adventurous styling and imaginative revisions to staple garments.
From the opening look, Simons channeled the familiar youthful inspiration that drives so much of his output, this time with a literal callout to the “SOLAR YOUTH.” The futuristic intent carried over to a series garments that utilized clean lines and glistening metallic accents to deliver looks both forward-looking and nostalgic, recalling the space age fascinations and sleek styling of ’60s designers like André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin. Long coats, blazers and sweaters channeled some of this magic by way of zippered sleeves that, once attached, created a streamlined, arm-free tube.
The faux fur and zippered detailing re-emerged as a restrictive capelet, blocking off the upper portion of leather layers and trench coats, complemented by skin-tight plastic corset-like layers. Immense pea coats, varsity jackets and fur outerwear offered deconstructed sleeves and pared-back lapels to underline the adventurous silhouettes, with wild fur embellishment and fringes lending a ragged edge to some of the items. Trim slacks and baggy track pants anchored the looks, utilizing sharp, pressed lines and flared hems to create dynamic interaction with the sleek shoes.
Those shoes was part of the premiere for Simons’ (RUNNER) project, a new line of “sportswear-influenced and facilitating footwear.” Fall/Winter 2020 sees the launch of eight boot-like styles in a host of different colorways, boasting space-age names like “SOLARIS,” “ANTEI,” “CYLON,” “ORION,” and “2001.” Natural materials like leather and suede inform the range, which has been teased on Simons’ Instagram page in a variety of sleek makeups, complete with rear zippers for easy access. Expect more news and imagery of the range imminently.