THE RISE & RISE OF RAF SIMONS
“The collections have been part of the process of growing up” – Raf Simons
Well it was certainly a ‘grown up’ collection which Raf Simons showed for his debut collection at the house of Dior yesterday.
Die-hard female fans of Raf Simons will be delighted to see that he has retained his signature ethos of female power dressing, albeit in a somewhat softer composition.
Immaculate coat-dresses, in bright reds, candy pink, or darker hues were worn with wide belts accentuating the waist, and shorter peplum style dresses, some exquisitely embellished and layered over beautifully tailored pants. Half evening-gowns, half-suits – genius!
Much attention had been paid to the female silhouette. Most of the gowns had great volume to the skirts, and therefore waists were highly accentuated. The coat-dresses continued throughout the collection in different guises which will please many of his larger customers I am sure, who will also be able to wear these garments and feel extremely feminine (and smaller).
All in all, it was a superb collection, and extremely clever! Not bad for the boy from Antwerp who studied industrial design in Genk, in Belgium. However, it seems that fashion was always in his blood, and he taught himself fashion design, and initially he started as an Intern at the Walter Van Beirendonck office in Antwerp.
Shortly afterwards he started designing furniture for a brief period, but he realised then that he needed to follow his dreams and so he moved to Antwerp where he met up with Linda Loppa, head of the fashion department at the Antwerp Royal Academy – which is when he decided to follow his dreams.
Since then Raf Simons has never looked back. He is now considered to be one of the most important menswear designers of his age. His name has become synonomous with traditional classically cut menswear incorporating rebellious dress codes of youth cultures both past and present.
In addition to launching his own Menswear labels, Raf Simons went on to become Creative Director at Jil Sander, and his collections are now sold worldwide. He became the darling of successful business women everywhere, for his appreciation of the perfectly tailored navy pant suit.
In April 2012 it was announced that Simons would become creative director for the house of Dior, which brings us full circle to this superb collection.
This success story only goes to prove yet again that in the world of fashion, if young designers have enough determination, and tenacity, and can develop their own signature style early enough (and with the right help and support from their friends), then dreams really can come true….!