July 10, 2005
Raf Simons marked his first ten years in the business with a book, a video retrospective, and a show of his latest collection in Florence's Boboli
Gardens, widely regarded as Italy's most important park. The classical
grandeur of the setting suited the theme of Simons' collectionIcarus, in all his heroic isolationand many of the clothes had a feel of airiness, movement, and flight. Shirts and T-shirts, for example, were literally opened up via latticework. Tops were radicallyand fluidlyoversized to match the full trousers he's been showing, and full-length coats with huge floating tailpieces looked more like wings than ever. Linen loaned a different kind of construction to his tailoring, with jackets and tops in a linen mesh, expanding on the idea of air passing through clothes.
Reflecting Simons' family background, colors stayed within a military palettegunmetal, slate, black, and Air Force blue, as well as his beloved dove-gray. And though those huge trousers came without last season's obi-like belt, it was still easy to picture them on a samurai (worn with shoes that looked like gladiator sandals). Simons, however, wasn't partial to the warrior analogy. Heroes, just for one day? Absolutely. But lovers, not fighters.