Sorry this is so ridiculously late. I had wondered whether or not it was pointless to put it up at all since it's so late but stuff it, it's my blog and I can post tardy reviews if I want to, post tardy reviews if I waaaant to...
So here goes.
After everyone had been talking about Jil Sander's now-iconic "spring brights" collection last season, I was really interested to see what Raf Simons would do for the brand for menswear SS12.
HOWEVER, I made a total rookie error by going on to Style.com to get my fix of images from the Milan show, and came face to face to their review. I TRIED not to read it before seeing the images, but, bloggies, I caved!
What I was confronted with took me by surprise: not the gushing (eew) praise I was expecting, no, instead the review was and decidedly chilly, and with hindsight, totally undeserved and unnecessary.
Using words like disorientating, fragmented and uncomfortable, Tim Blanks pulled NO punches in his summation, and frankly, after this I was expecting a car crash of a collection, but thankfully that's not what I got.
There's nothing I don't like about this. The harness/bag thing is sporty yet smart and I love the colour (orange is a key shade for this collection) and flashes of red snakeskin. Enjoy the contrast against a tailored black jacket as well.
I mean, YES, it IS a little disconcerting to be confronted with hairy man-shin, but whatevs, get over it. In terms of the boots, I'd wear em. And I'd look twice at a guy who rocked them too.
Thumbs up again.
Adore a chunky knit contrasted with tailored workwear-esque breeks. Love it in real life and love it here. Also, I really like the slicked-down wet-look hair dos on these boys. Adds an edge - they look sorta plasticky which is a material he uses later on. Nice.
Again, everything about this is amazing. The laser-printed tshirt rocks, I'd wear it, and those mad zippy bag things look like something my dad would wear on a pedalo to keep his Euros dry... Only MUCH snazzier now they're in snakeskin. Blanks says they create a kind of "global traveller" vibe, but manages to sound thoroughly disgusted in the process. Personally I see more of a cool indie-boy festival vibe happening here.
I think I definitley have some sort of Creepy Texture Disorder (CTD) because the contrast of wool and plastic here is making me feel all light-headed and tingly. Buzzin, if you will. It also reminds me A LOT of my friend Kirsten Wotherspoon's designs. Her collection utilised transparent plastic jackets over shiny, fluid, metallic fabrics and it was one of my favourites from Graduate Fashion Week.
Who doesn't love a textured leather suit jacket? NOT ME!
At first I thought the trousers were high-waisted with some kind of leather panel at the top, which would have been AWESOME and I'm a little disappointed that it's actually another shiny body-bag thingway. I'd have loved to have seen Raf Simons push the envelope even further by doing a high-waisted tailored trouser, but perhaps best leave Yohji Yamamoto to that kind of thing.
Wish I could see this tshirt up close and get my hands on it to gie it a right good feel (CTD) because I do love a structured tshirt and this is divine. Totally simple but totally perfect - what's not to love?
It strikes me that, as well as the contrasts in both the textures/fabrics and the tricky ideology behind the collection (youth versus aging, versus the post-war decades, versus English club culture, versus early 80s Berlin - this one, YES!), what also irked Tim Blanks was the androgyny of the collection. Yes, androgyny - a word we're more used to hearing in the opposite circumstances: women looking like men. This reversal didn't sit well with Blanks.
Most of the above pictures fail to show just what got up his nose.
SHORTS, people. Short(ish) shorts on men. Beyhold:
It's weird because I'd have to say that neither from the waist up, nor from the waist down, do these models look like women. Am I wrong? I'm not wrong.
Blanks doesn't out and out say he's not into it, but he mentions flippantly that "time was as fluid as gender in a collection that saw one model dressed in the kind of high-waisted rah-rah shorts last seen on forties pinups, another in shorts in an oil-slick techno fabric that came from tomorrow. There were plenty more shorts—Simons felt they added dynamism to the show." If that doesn't smack of condescension I don't know what does!
Reminded me of Madonna: "Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots, cos it's OK to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, cos you think that being a girl is degrading..."
Defo still true, Madge.
Anyway, let's not get too deep here. All in all I really liked this collection and I was a bit freaked out it hadn't been well-received.
What do y'all think?