By Nell Richmond-Tanner
Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons’ show was certainly worth the wait. His London debut had to be rescheduled due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II but this did not quell the excitement surrounding his latest collection, presented at one of the most iconic venues in London – Printworks.
It seems we are witnessing the second 90s revival in 10 years: slouchy clothing was all over the Autumn 2022 runways, Kate Moss is back in the press, and Raf Simons’ London presentation was basically a massive rave.
Despite the slightly misguided focus on rompers – a highly risky choice of clothing at a club – the Belgian designer captured the true spirit of England’s 90s party culture. There was no front row to speak of and fashion legends partied among students attending the show, a nod to the raving ethos of the decade, that everyone is welcome.
According to Simons, SS23 is still about ‘sexy’, as we are still making up for years of partywear lost to COVID – years defined by comfortability. The catwalk was awash with mini skirts, sheer fabric, and colourful tights that draw attention to the legs. The collection was less tied to the rave atmosphere of the event by blending neon and fishnets with preppy tailoring as well as punky leather.
Raf Simons was perhaps writing a love letter to multiple fashion movements England has witnessed over the last sixty years. A fitting tribute to the country’s rich history of subcultures, music and fashion. Echoing a statement made often in the early hours after a rave in the 90s, Hikmat Mohammed from WWD tweeted that “the Raf Simons show at Printworks was a religious experience”. This was truly a ‘you had to be there’ moment for the capital’s fashion season.