The Raf Simons SS23 Show Was All About the Rave Punk Scene

Raf Simons

Raf Simons made his London debut in a way that only he could. Colorful, cutting-edge, and gothic/punk-rock to the max, the Belgian designer proved that his long-awaited U.K. debut was indeed worth the wait. A minimalist yet standout show, this collection was all about the energy of dance, and its impact on the body.

Mature, sexy, sultry, and fun, the event took place at South London’s Printworks venue, dazzling a crowd of over 1,000. DJ Clara 3000 was the designated DJ in charge, filling the venue with electric heart-thumping music as the models bared, stripped, and cutaway in what was a reduction to the body's essential form.

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Raf Simons

Capitalizing on its ornamental and progressive design aesthetics that have led to even more of a dedicated following—in part due to the brand's huge collaborations—the SS23 show was all about showcasing simplicity in radical fashion.

Tailored blazers, biker jackets, and sliced tank tops were just some of the many groundbreaking pieces displayed during the rave/fashion show combo, with intricate details such as fine-gauge knit and stocking fabric delicately pressed in the skin amongst other features showcased.

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Raf Simons
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Raf Simons

1980s style belts and buckles were also one of the biggest draws of the night, paying homage to legendary U.K. acts of that time period—from the Police to Depeche Mode.

Raf Simons
Raf Simons

The exquisite art of tailoring was on full display as well, with classic wool fits being highlighted and manipulated to elongate and complement the torso, along with tailored trousers and skirts, many of which were accompanied by punk jewelry designed to be both reminders of humanity, and symbols of enjoyment. Speaking of enjoyment, Raf Simons SS23 also showcased playful garments such as colorful leggings and playful playsuits.  

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Raf Simons

Additionally, this SS23 collection debuts a collaboration with the estate of Belgian Painter Philippe Vandenberg. This included carefully curated artworks contextualized as all-over prints on garments and accessories, with a focus on the artist’s text works, translated handwriting, and impactful messages that make you stop, think, and listen to the world around you. The pieces from the Spring/Summer 2023 collection featuring the work of Philippe Vandenberg will be co-labelled RAF SIMONS / PHILIPPE VANDENBERG.

If there’s anything to be taken from Raf’s show, it’s that next spring and summer will be about clubbing at raves in punk rock attire from all eras. And we can’t wait. 

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