Sneaking Around at Raf Simons

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Published January 26, 2009

 

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

 

Raf Simons capped day two of Paris menswear shows Friday evening, and before he had even entered the vast room at the Musée de l’Homme, Kanyé West, one of Raf’s biggest fans, was wailing, “Look at those mirrors! Raf’s a genius.” Simons filled his show space with a row of gigantic revolving mirrored panels that made everyone feel a bit like Alice in “Through the Looking Glass.” It reminded me equally of that old adage “what goes around, comes around”—a set for a world gone Wall Street. But by the time the show began, the turning mirrors had given most of the audience a dizzy spell. West, whose sneaker design made its debut on Louis Vuitton’s runway Thursday, was test driving another prototype pair from his LV collection. “I’m at Louis headquarters every day now,” he said. “After the show it’s about fine tuning the colors and the shapes. These are still in the testing stage,” he said, pointing to his bulky white Dunk-esque kicks. “Tomorrow I’m going back to chop them down a bit.”

 

It looked like Simons had done some chopping himself. For Fall/Winter he produced a seamless ode to the suit, starting with perfect proportions—neither too narrow nor too wide. Later on he took tailoring on a bender  in stiff neoprene diving suit material, and with bolero layers in shocking colors, highlighting the shoulders. “I think the suit is problematic,” said Simons after the show. “I’ve always wanted to bring tailoring to a younger man. This season I asked myself: ‘what is shockingly modern today?’ And the answer is head-to-toe corporate. When I think of the guys who come in for castings in T-shirts and jeans, the one thing I never see them wearing is a suit.”