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Unlike last season, Belgian designer Raf Simons has decided to dispense with all the guests and present his autumn/winter 22/23 collection on a square-shaped runway in the centre of an industrial-style room decorated only with armchairs draped in red fabrics, chandeliers and a crystal chandelier. And speaking of decoration, do you know what inspired Raf to create this collection? Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting Dutch Proverbs from 1559.
That is the only clue that the designer has given about his source of inspiration, so leaving aside this issue and focusing on the show and what we have seen in the presentation video, once again, the designer’s favourite colour, black, has been in charge of dyeing most of the garments and accessories, except for some of them. The latter have played an important role in this proposal because, as well as adding a touch of colour and light to the look, as in the case of the XL bags in the shape of a backpack, with a large tail and a satin look, they have once again demonstrated why Raf is one of the most avant-garde designers of his generation and of the current one, and one of the best in the field, which was evident in the wide selection of accessories on show, including a series of equestrian-inspired helmet hats, some with slits, and the caps/coats that opened the show, designed in collaboration with milliner Stephen Jones.
Going back to Raf Simons‘ star colour, it has taken different directions: a very discreet one in a monochromatic look with the aim of going completely unnoticed and another one to do exactly the opposite, due to the use of latex-like fabrics but keeping the same shiny effect at all times and combining it with leather ties. In short, we see little colour, except in a couple of pieces that have caught our attention. Which ones? The red trompe l’oeil knit dress with a high collar and a hand-painted drawing of hands holding a bouquet, the coat in the same colour with double-breasted buttons, the draped pleated trousers in nude and the purple oversize leather blazer.
It seems that next season latex will be one of the star materials for designers, as we have seen before, Walter Van Beirendonck, Saint Laurent or Richard Quinn have already included it in their collections. Will you dare to wear it? If Raf Simons says so, we’ll have to.