Connotations of the Mod ethos conjure riotous weekends at Brighton beach, and the care-free Summer of Love stirs San Franciscan flower power - a far cry from the historical streets of Raf Simons’ base in Antwerp.
For Spring/Summer 21, the Belgian designer portrays a modern revolution, where streamlined, unisex silhouettes are laced with pastels to form the crux of his ‘Teenage Dreams’ collection. Here, Simons’ shapes a love letter to the zeitgeist of subculture that has fuelled the eponymous label since its inception in 1995. Transcending beyond just era defining silhouettes, attitudes of youth driven defiance and liberation underline his latest sartorial venture. In an ode to one of the industry’s leading authorities, SEVENSTORE documents the playful irreverence of Raf Simons’ ‘Teenage Dreams’ collection, with an editorial inspired by the safe haven of teenage bedrooms, a museum of subculture and expression in itself, capturing the dichotomy between youth and adulthood.
His latest collection mirrors the core of the label – conveying a carefree attitude to European minimalism. Touching on the North West’s own, Joy Division offers a melancholic cry of inspiration, in parallel with the kaleidoscopic palettes of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Alien.’ Despite this hotchpotch of visual inspiration, the collection offers a stark unifying element. In true house style, ‘Teenage Dreams’ is, above all, pragmatic. Extending the latest branch of the label’s tree, heavyweight cotton, flared denims and buttery leathers offer product with purpose, where utility is shone through the lens of luxury. Streamlined silhouettes are met with longline hems and spliced jackets alongside avant-garde footwear; Simons shows a desire to place visual history in the realm of the everyday.
Screen printed family photographs of those at the label’s creative helm and rife sloganeering are married with iterations of Simons’ youth - where statements of revolt are slashed across jackets, t-shirts and hoody’s alike. Where there are rallying cries, there is hope; Where there is desire for change, there is an appreciation of heritage.
Simons’ cyclical guise into the anatomy of generational style, culture and politics is apt. Reeling from the effects of Coronavirus as well as the long-awaited Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements, disdain for the present day is met with an idealistic future, where fashion comes as a vehicle to help drive this narrative. Under the glare of Mod Vespa mirrors, ‘Teenage Dreams,’ aids as a uniting catalyst for revolution. “Welcome home,” Simons says, where freedom of thought and freedom of dress is celebrated.
The latest collection of Raf Simons is available in-store and online now.