We would love to spend fright night at Raf Simons’ house, where the bill would feature seminal, sci-fi and teen horror flicks such as Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, Pan’s Labyrinth, Barbarella and Alien. The designer cited them all as references for his SS21 collection, entitled Teenage Dream, which also introduced his first proper women’s line. He unveiled it in an eerie co-ed movie with a nerve-shredding, pulsing soundtrack by Senjan Jansen. Like all his work it referenced youth culture and music. As well as the movies, he cited three Joy Division songs that speak to the current mood: “Isolation,” “Incubation,” and “Disorder.” Comfort dressing isn’t on Simons agenda. Instead his models crawled through a shell-hole in a concrete wall and entered his version of ‘The Upside Down’ – a spooky, sci-fi forest, with toxic yellow moss, trees dripping with poison berries and cargo nets.
Alien-looking boys and girls wore a wardrobe of swirling psychedelic raver ponchos, halter-neck waistcoats slung over skinny tops and flaring trousers. Simons treated us to oil-slick textures and torsos tightly cinched in cellophane. There were satin maxi skirts in hazmat yellow for girls, Pepto-Bismol pink sleeveless jackets and mesh polo necks for boys and hoodies with old yearbook photos for everyone. It was unnerving and unearthly, but just like the best scary movies, it was also exhilarating.
by Claudia Croft