Raf Simons drew upon Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographic legacy to create his Spring/Summer 2017 menswear collection. His show at Pitti Uomo in Florence was a succession of beautifully cut looks and tailoring à la Simons. The collection however contained an underground New York feeling and celebrated the 20th anniversary of the brand. On every outfit was a printed portrait or still life by the acclaimed photographer ornamenting the minimalistic shirts. This clever association ended as a dialogue between Mapplethorpe and the designer, who carefully curated each photography in this collection. Sometimes revealed by a cropped jumper or hidden by an oversized knitwear, they reflected Simons’s passionate and truthful homage to one of his biggest inspirations. The colour palette of the collection remained neutral to put even more emphasis on the photographic prints and on the clear cuts of the silhouette. However, some touch of red or stripes brilliantly brightened the looks, as only a true artist like Simons could master.
Words: Morgane Nyfeler
Illustration: Marcell Naubert