The Woolmark Company and Belgian designer Raf Simons reunited on Tuesday, 11th July in the heart of Chinatown underneath the Manhattan bridge in New York to present his Spring/Summer 2018 menswear collection. The alliance was born next winter after the development of the Autumn-Winter 2017 collection that went on the first of February during the New York Fashion Week. The Australian company along with the Belgian designer took off on the catwalk 50 menswear looks: distressed tailoring, wide-brimmed hats, wide trousers, oversized sweaters, glossy raincoats, knee-high galoshes, pouches in collaboration with Eastpak, trench coats (some emblazoned with Saville’s Joy Division album art), and more. All of the suiting and knitwear pieces were comprised of Merino Wool, which is a collaboration luxury wool authority The Woolmark Company. In addition to apparel, Simons also presented the new Adidas Detroit Runners and Adilette slides. Chinese lanterns printed with artwork produced by Peter Saville for New Order hung from the ceiling. Of course, there were also celebrities in attendance: ASAP Rocky, NBA champ Andre Iguodal, Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenha, Ashton Sanders, and Marc Jacobs. During the show, models — both male and female — walked down the runway holding umbrellas. It was reminiscent of a scene from Blade Runner, where Harrison Ford’s character Deckard heads to Chinatown. There were also neon signs that spelled out the word “REPLICANT” a reference to the fictional biorobotic androids from the 1982 sci-fi film. “There are a lot of things that go back to my early days and why we started doing the things we did”, Simons said about the inspiration for the collection in an interview with Vogue. “So there was strong music references from the past, as you can see. But there are juxtapositions in a different way taken out of context, basically; it’s about movies, it’s about cultures sliding together – that’s the most important message for me – Asian culture and the culture of the west coming together. And you know there was a bit of new wave, punk attitude, but not aesthetically, more in the attitude like taking different kind of things… good vibes… I wanted it to be energetic.” The collection was born from The Woolmark Company and Raf Simons mutual admiration for the fiber with the objective of source and create a wool rich spring collection in unexpected fabrications. The intent for the wool’s global authority is to speed sportive côté up, the global advisor of The Woolmark Company, underlines Fabrizio Servente, who then declares to Pitti Uomo: «This fiber lives a golden age due to a number of factors, with big news from the point of product view. The revolution is taking place in sportive world, where the wool, previously replaced by technical fibers, became fashionable once again with incredible textiles, appreciated by young people too». The Woolmark logo is one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands and representing pioneering excellence and innovation from farm through to finished product. The Woolmark Company is a subsidiary of Australian Wool Innovation, a not-for-profit enterprise owned by more than 25,000 woolgrowers that invests in research, development and marketing along the worldwide supply chain for Australian wool. In the spring-summer 2018 Wool Lab, the book of tendences which was presented as usual by The Woolmark Company and results from the collaboration with the most accurate spinners and textile workers, contains two themes dedicated to the current of “Active” and “Athleisure”. The message Raf Simons wants to communicate is: pride in individuality.
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