You can’t have escaped the news of Raf Simons’ departure from Dior. If I’m honest I was never totally sold on Raf at Dior; I loved the first collection but just like his time at Jil Sander, the house of Dior had a negative impact on his eponymous menswear line. It seems like womenswear designed by Raf never quite hit the mark in the same way that his menswear always has, which isn’t surprising considering his history. Isolated Heroes is the first collection since his departure and it takes us right back to the roots of what Raf was always all about.
The Isolated Heroes capsule collection trades on Raf’s game changing late 90’s aesthetic – not just in terms of clothes but also in terms of models and photography, key components in the Raf Simons fashion machine. Isolated Heroes was the name of a series of photographs taken by David Sims as part of the casting process for Raf’s 1999 show. The photographs were published as a book and have now been re-appropriated for this collection. It’s interesting to see them again, 15 years later. Raf’s boys with their bowl cuts and sharp features look as edgy today as they did way back on the verge of a new millennium.
In many ways this is a ‘best of’ collection. Parkas with back prints, denim tote bags, sleeveless hoodies – all in black, classic Raf. I hope this signals a return to what made Raf great in the first place, free from the demands of a couture line Raf should be able to focus his energies on menswear alone.
The Raf Simons Isolated Heroes collection is available from Mr. Porter, prices range from £215 – £1,375