Raf Simons: Menswear AW18

“Dream when your day is through. Dream, and they might come true. Things are never as bad as they seem so dream, dream, dream,” read the last lines of ‘Drugs’ by the late greats Cookie Mueller and the legendary Glenn O’Brien (a much loved contributor of 10 Men). The tragicomic play, written in the ‘80s was never performed and was one of the heavy references that Raf Simons delved into for his AW18 Menswear collection.

The published play’s cover became the sleeveless tabards in both the book “bad cut” yellow and “prescriptive orange” colours. This was a collection about addiction, drug names – 2C-B, LSD and XTC were printed on to knee patches and scarves. It got more raw. Natja Brunckhorst‘s image from the dark 1981 film ‘Christiane F.’ was printed onto oversized t-shirts. A kind of super future decadent NYC after party debauched feast was the setting as the boys stomped in big boots to the techno kick drum of Emmanuel Top’s ‘Turkish Bazaar’ beating fast.

The words “The music was new black polished chrome and came over the summer like liquid night,”. Make of that what you will. It was the end of a party, psychedelic laser beams streamed into the room, strobing, wickedly lighting the way forward for this youth in revolt, for Raf’s dedicated fans. Big shoulders held up oversized tailored coats and what appeared to be pill boxes were attached to latex gloves. Practical. Moments of sinister string ensembles rang out through all that hypnotic techno. Disconcertingly hallucinogenic.

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