Raf Simons throws a rave and shows off his most grown-up clothes yet

Raf Simons was supposed to show his Spring/Summer 2023 collection during London Fashion Week in September, almost certainly a highlight among Burberry, Halpern and SS Daley’s robust calendar. But Simons decided to cancel his show after the Queen’s death and announced he would instead unveil the collection at the Frieze art fair in October.

“It’s been a while since I dreamed of walking in London, a city where fashion and creativity are omnipresent in the streets, and where I see exceptional people with a strong and unique style,” said the Belgian designer, who walks usually in New York. and Paris, said in a brand statement in July. “I am extremely excited that this dream will come true now.” Simons has long been fascinated by Britain, and specifically its music scene. A peach cardigan from his Spring/Summer 96 collection was screen-printed with the sane aladdin album cover, while for AW’01 Simons added more Bowie patches, alongside those wearing Manic Street Preachers and Joy Division on sweatshirts. He also worked with legendary artistic director Peter Saville, perhaps best known for creating the identity of Manchester’s acid house mecca, the Haçienda.

Last night a new club night opened as more than 1,000 guests flocked to the Printworks, the sprawling south London venue. The warehouse, a former newspaper printing house, was filled with the thud of techno, as strobe lights streaked across the concrete chamber. One question on everyone’s mind, though: where the hell was the show going to take place? Printworks is a large space, but there was no walkway in sight. Instead, the venue was set up for a rave with a long bar running along one wall. An hour later, the bar was stripped of its polyester tarp and a walkway was unveiled. Then the place was plunged into darkness. The bar was bathed in light and Simons’ show began.

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