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What went down at Raf Simons’ spooky womenswear debut

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Drawing inspiration from a bunch of iconic horror movies, Raf’s feeling freaky for SS21

Thought the SS21 fashion season was over? Think again. Just a few weeks after making his debut alongside Mrs. P at Prada, Raf Simons was back today to drop the first ever womenswear collection under his namesake label. What exactly did that entail? Reader, we have you covered. 

SO IT WASN’T EXACTLY A SHOW

Like many others in these StRaNgE and UnCeRtaIN times, the Belgian iconoclast turned his attention to the medium of film for SS21, creating an atmospheric short to debut what he’s been working on the past few months – and, aside from turning out two collections in the space of of six months, it seems like he’s been getting pretty acquainted with Netflix just like the rest of us.

SHIT GOT EXTREMELY SPOOKY

Simons’ isn’t one to shy away from taking things to dark places – just check out his twisted take on Americana at Calvin Klein if you’re looking for proof of that – but this season he got especially freaky. As an ominous, sparse soundtrack of dull, disjointed notes started up, models began emerging from holes in the wall and crawling slowly through the muddy set, with some slowly standing upright and staring into the camera through bare, jagged branches, and others lying down mournfully in the dirt (mood). The models all wore glazed expressions across their faces, with the whole thing giving off some heavy Children of the Corn vibes. 

THE YOUTH REVOLUTION IS HERE

…with models making their way through the set in skintight, signature roll-necks emblazoned with ‘Welcome Home Children of the Revolution’, tunics bearing embroidered patches reading ‘Question Everything’ and ‘Youth Against’, and a multitude of oversized sweater-vests and swingy 70s-esque pinafores dotted with pin badges compelling their onlookers to ‘Join Us’ (in what was surely an Evil Dead reference, given the circumstances). The retro, cult-like horror undertones were hammered home by swirling psychedelic-print shirts with wide sleeves, velvet flares, and brightly coloured tights paired with matching patent Mary-Janes, as well as archival staples including oversized hoodies and sweatshirts. 

SIMONS WORE HIS HORROR REFERENCES ON HIS SLEEVE

Having previously channelled inspo from Rosemary’s Baby, Jaws, Friday the 13th, and more into his collections, this time Simons had movies including Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, Blow-Up, and Alien on his hit list. It wasn’t only horror he had in mind though. Also listed among his press notes were John Hughes’ cult classic The Breakfast Club, Alice and Wonderland, and longtime reference point Picnic at Hanging Rock. Aside from anything else, that’s some Halloween watchlist he’s given us. 

Check the collection out in the gallery above.