Raf Simons and Sterling Ruby pulled off a near-perfect designer-artist collaboration yesterday evening in Paris. With the presentation of their eponymous winter 2014 collection, Simons and Ruby, who have worked together in the past on Simons’s retail design, demonstrated that the collusion of fashion and art can be more than tribute appropriation or tasteful fortuitousness. Each piece in the collection is labeled RAF SIMONS / STERLING RUBY and is the result of comprehensive creative teamwork.
Signatures of Ruby’s work, which ranges from painting and collage to large-scale installations of brutal structures or gnarled ceramics, were evoked in the collection’s overscaling—the galaxy imagery as well as the mutant-hand motifs accentuated this pursuit of vastness. Simons’s mastery of deconstruction/reconstruction helped to contain the silhouettes while also suggesting metamorphoses. Word plays like abus lang (“abusive language”) and FATHERS added a twisted psychological speculation—particularly for menswear. And is it possible to make US Army arctic boots more fashionable than here? Overall, it is a collection that seems to speak of forms changed into new entities.
To read more about Ruby Sterling, see 032c’s interview with the artist, “2Traps Supermax.”