Raf Simons spring—summer 1999.
Raf Simons organised his show at the “Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie” in Paris on the 3rd of July 1998. The “Kinetic Youth” collection was presented outside, in front of the enormous mirror ball located in La Villette’s Science and Industry museum in Paris. The set refers to the architectural influences in Raf Simons’ life and also to kinetic objects from his youth. Raf Simons used different songs of David Bowie during the whole show.
The opening part:
The show opened with David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and the opening part was inspired by the graphic style of “Bauhaus”;
-Shirts with white/black contrast (different black pleats in the back and black triangle on the front)
-Black wool pants with on the front one, two or three pleats
The second part:
A group of very young teenagers wearing white turtleneck shirts with an “R” symbol, stitched on the collar. Their pants were all in different colours; red, petrol, light grey, mint, beige mêlée, marine…The models walked together in a group on the bridge, on one side of the runway leading to the mirror ball, then to the central building and to the bridge on the opposite side of the first one.
-Inspiration: School Memories, for example gymnastic lessons in uniform, repetition.
-Music: “Life on Mars”, David Bowie.
The global idea behind the last two show parts was the inspiration of the “Rubik’s cube” object; order and disorder of colours.
The third part:
Classic ton-sur-ton outfits with merino wool knitted pullovers and classic suits. This time the pleated pants are light grey, beige mêlée, brown and marine.
The fourth part:
The most important material in this part was the coloured leather. Raf Simons showed mixed coloured outfits, like trashed cutted rock t-shirts in yellow and green, with large leather jogging pants and sleeveless tunic jackets. Colours brown, grey, light grey, aubergine, mint, green, red……
-Music: “Heroes”, David Bowie.
The song of the final part: ”Another brick in the Wall” from Pink Floyd. The whole group of ca. 60 boys walked quite fast on the runway, but now in the opposite direction. The order becomes a disorder, as in the song: ”we don’t need no education”. Raf Simons feels inspired by youth culture: on one side they are wearing uniforms, but inside they still feel like HEROES, like unique individuals.