Raf Simons’ swan song brought even the most jaded of fashion critics to their feet for a standing ovation. And then the applause transpired into an encore – after Raf retreated backstage, we stormed the catwalk and demanded a second exit bow from the sobbing designer. It was a hugely emotional end to a gloriously emotional collection, a fashion show like I have never before experienced.
It was also the best collection of Milan Fashion Week. With the concept of fantastical day-in-the-life of a relationship as inspiration, Simons took his studied sense of minimalism to the absolute max. Marshmallow-pink and creamy blush, cappuccino-chestnut and dove-gray: the billowing, double-faced coats were as gorgeous as they were soft and swingy. Camisole-style slip-dresses and sweetheart necklines exuded ultimate femininity – along with a strong undertone, thanks to the combination of wisp-thin jerseys and studier cable-knits. Sensual slits and cutouts, along with panels of PVC, injected edge to this romantic “day.” Glitter and sequin accessories, juxtaposed with serenely elegant clothes, glamorized the collection and took the Sander woman to new heights.
Raf Simons speaks the language of fashion with the imaginative intelligence and precise dreaminess of a poet, and his final verses read as his masterpiece. Bravo.