Raf Simons is one of those fashion designers whose designs transcend genders. While his creations for his eponymous label have been categorically menswear from the start, they've never been typically 'masculine' or boxed into an idea of what menswear is. And that's part of the reason why Simons' legion of fans are not only men.
It's evident in his first womenswear collection for spring/summer 2021. The debut felt more like a case study of how a Raf Simons piece has been somewhat genderless from the start. Everything looked and felt seamless across both menswear and womenswear, save for the additions of silk midi pencil skirts and dresses.
If there was any takeaway from the Raf Simons spring/summer 2021 collection, is that the identity and aesthetic is here to stay, no matter that he's now co-creative director at Prada as well. That smooth transition to womenswear is proof enough that the Simons that we all know and highly revere him for can only get better and better.
Look and feel: Little needs to be said how the spring/summer 2021 collection is Simons through and through. There were the typography-laden graphics (always related to youths and revolt), Joy Division inspirations, a splendid play of proportions, as well as recontextualised tailoring. Simons has a knack for taking classic tailoring pieces and reworking them through almost rebellious eyes. Fine examples of this execution were in the collection's halter-like, slashed blazers (looks 10 and 43) and raw-edged waistcoats that were cut extremely oversized to the point where they reached the knees (looks 18 and 63).
Favourite looks: It's easy to be distracted by the way each look was styled—there were a lot of seemingly incongruous elements put together in one look but that's typical of Simons. Our favourites skewed more towards the less graphic pieces, such as look 62's all-white combination that consisted of Simons' signature oversized denim shirt worn under a plastic waistcoat, and slightly flared jeans, all paired with the collection's psychedelic print turtleneck. Equally easier to pull off is the burnt orange fit in look 50.
But if it's drama that you're after (and there weren't lack of it), look 72's midi-length oversized hoodie-cape hybrid is one that could satisfy any Simons fanboy. For something a tad more grounded, the collection's five-buttoned coats (looks 14, 21 and 65) were exquisitely cut and subtly detailed with worn edges for that extra oomph.