Jun 17, 2016
Raf Simons beautifully closes Pitti Uomo
Jun 17, 2016
Close to 260 models animate the hangars of the Stazione Leopolda, blending into the darkness with the visitors. Sitting on the floor cross-legged or on scaffolds, perched on lifts and on the roof, they are clothed with designs from the last 20 years of Raf Simons’ career.
This is exactly the effect the Belgian designer was hoping for, which the Florentine trade show Pitti Uomo wanted to celebrate this season. For his event, Thursday's closing act, Raf Simons didn’t want a static retrospective as seen in museums, but rather a real live play. All over, the looks imagined by the designer collided from one era to the other.
A crackling neon and red and green spotlights lightly lit the post industrial décor. Then, a cantata was heard, the lights went off and the first models came out through the crowd. The models walked in socks and sandals, black pants, and white flared shirts, where black and white photos were projected.
The shots appeared arbitrarily to the left, on the bottom of their white shirts, on their backs, and even on their chests, creating a very graphic aesthetic. The photos projected were those of American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
Guests could distinguish pictures of Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson. Raf Simons was able to go through the photographer’s archives thanks to an agreement with the Robert Mapplethorpe foundation.
With DJ Michel Gaubert in charge of sound, the music was unpredictable, making room for an electronic rhythm, while the looks also transformed between erotic references and film quotes, with a Mapplethorpe touch in several of them.
A leather cap hiding expressions, a fine string tied to the neck like a tie, models wearing leather aprons and loincloths, covered in photographs. Oversized sweaters also showcased more images.
Handknit sleeveless sweaters were shrunken or missing their bottom halfs. Large bags in hessian used as a framework for new pictures. And here and there bursts of colours (yellow, red, green, turquoise) brought a pictural element to this very contemporary collection.
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