Last night, a Chinatown street hidden underneath the Manhattan Bridge became the scene for Raf Simons’s second men’s wear show in New York, which was largely inspired by the movie “Blade Runner.” “I wanted to have an environment which was very Asian,” Simons said after the show. “So I wanted to find a place that was definitely not a show space. I didn’t want to create the mood, I wanted it already to be there, not only physically but with its smell and noise,” he explained as the subway train rattled above him.
“What I like so much about “Blade Runner” is how all these cultures come together,” Simons said. Here, a model holds a glow-stick-handled umbrella with a coat decorated with a neon pin. Some of the models wore shirts emblazoned with the word “Replicant” at the chest pocket, an explicit reference to the fictional, genetically engineered robots called replicants featured in the film.
The Chinese lanterns hanging above and also dangling from some of the models featured graphics taken from old Joy Division and New Order album covers originally made by the artist Peter Saville. This isn’t the first time that the English rock bands inspired Simons, who said that they are “very, very connected” to his own youth. In 2003, Simons adorned parkas with Saville’s archival art for his “Closer” fall/winter collection, named after Joy Division’s final album. “I wanted to go back to my own past,” he said.
“I don’t know why it took me 20 years to do something with the movie because I wanted to for a long time since I’ve been doing my work,” he said. “It contains a lot of elements that I’ve been interested in for many years. You have Asian culture that comes together with something that’s referential to New Wave or Punk or Cyber.”