I have to say when I first saw the images I hated the collection, but I’ve changed my mind. My first thoughts when looking at the images was actually ss10 (it’s very similar in parts) - I used to hate ss10 too, but I think that collection was actually pretty successful. The tailoring mixed with the tied-up elements was actually pretty subversive and political given the economy at the time. With ss12 I also tried to find a political element that would somehow ‘redeem’ it, but I couldn’t – instead it was some of the finishes that made me rethink.
This look stood out for me - the cross seemed a little garish to me and almost out of sync with the rest of the collection, but looking at other finishes this cross came back and back in more interesting and less obvious ways. This look tied the theme all together.
The boxy silhouettes that are a Raf staple had this cross motif, but I loved the way that there’s this ambiguity to the bias cuts’ function – are they merely decorative or are those slits pocket openings? There’s this wonderful element of cutting up and reassessing – Raf subverted minimalism into something much more interesting.
Saying that, I didn’t really like the plaid looks. Although the cutting up of the plaid was pretty interesting – again certain elements were almost hidden like the pocket openings (which I liked) but the colours seemed a little garish to me. Menkes saw the colour palette as subverting gender norms, as feminine colours were mixed with blacks – that may be the case but they just seemed in bad taste.
I preferred the all black looks - the cut of that jacket is just perfect! Some of the reviews I read mentioned that Raf was simplifying the Hawaiian prints and almost minimal-ising it, which I suppose I can see – he almost made the flower mechanical, which is interesting (especially considering the show’s setting), but I didn’t love them really. My favourite element of the show was the detailing on the polos.
Raf took sportswear and made it somewhat formal by pairing it with a slim tailored suit trouser and adding a super cool belt element. I’d love to see if that’s merely decorative or if there’s a function to it too. Raf’s adding of certain style details to kind of knock the normal perception of that garment was, to me, the collection’s success. Saying that, I don’t think this collection is one of Raf’s best but I do like it (at least in elements).
Thanks for the question, and sorry for the ramble.