History of Our World

Raf Simons: Redux, 2005

Posted in Art, Fashion, Print by R on November 5, 2009

Spring-Summer 2003, Consumed, Photographed by Mario Sorrentit syling by Panos Yiapanis Arena Homme PLus, #18, 2003

Spring-Summer 2003. Consumed. Photographed by Mario Sorrenti. Syling by Panos Yiapanis. Arena Homme Plus no. 18, 2003.

Isolated heroes no1, Robbie, Photographed by Raf Simons, Antwerp 2000

Isolated heroes no.1: Robbie. Photographed by Raf Simons. Antwerp, 2000.

Autumn-Winter 1999-2000 (flag), Photographed by Raymond Jacquemyns, Antwerp 2005

Autumn-Winter 1999-2000 (flag). Photographed by Raymond Jacquemyns. Antwerp 2005.

Robbie, Photographed by Willy Vanderperre, styling Oliver Rizzo, grooming by Peter Philips, Antwerp, 1999_I

Robbie. Photographed by Willy Vanderperre.  Styling: Oliver Rizzo. Grooming: Peter Philips.  Antwerp, 1999.

Autumn-Winter 2003-2004, collaboration with Peter Saville, hand-painting on garments executed by Stef Driesen and Antonia Deluca, Cis, Johan, Peter photographed by Willy Vanderperre, hair by Tom malomgre, make-up by Peter Philips, Paris 2003

Autumn-Winter 2003-2004. Collaboration with Peter Saville. Hand-painting on garments executed by Stef Driesen and Antonia Deluca. Cis, Johan, Peter. Photographed by Willy Vanderperre. Hair: Tom Malomgre. Make-up: Peter Philips. Paris, 2003.

Robbie, Photographed by Willy Vanderperre, styling Oliver Rizzo, grooming by Peter Philips, Antwerp, 1999_II

Robbie. Photographed by Willy Vanderperre.  Styling: Oliver Rizzo. Grooming: Peter Philips.  Antwerp, 1999.

Collier Schorr, Base Portraits-Barracks, New York, 2005

Collier Schorr. Base Portraits/Barracks. New York, 2005.

Spring-Summer 2002, Alexander, Photographed by Kurt De Wit, Grooming by Peter Philips, Paris, 2001

Spring-Summer 2002. Alexander. Photographed by Kurt De Wit. Grooming: Peter Philips. Paris, 2001.

Video still Spring-Summer 2002

Video still. Spring-Summer 2002.

Raf and me – we are the Nicky brotherhood. Other people might look at out two members only-congregation as just another Nicky Wire (of Manic Street Preachers) fan club, but both of us know the word “Nicky” means so much more, so we don’t care. For the uninitiated, it would take a long, deep plunge into the complete history and output of the Manics to fully understand, so just take it from me that “Nicky” stands for conviction, fervor, pride, defiance and self-belief against ones own lucky or unlucky fate. When Nicky Wire falls to his knees onstage, bass guitar low, his eyes closed, lost in melody and noise, signing along to to the very words he himself wrote, it’s not your typical freeze-framed rock pose. It’s the very white-out of deliverance and intent and melancholia all true art has, or should have. Life the Nicky way is what all of us like to aspire to. Above all, “Nicky” stands for passion. There’s so, so much passion in Raf’s head and heart. He’s a believer – always. Take anyone working in his office or somehow associated with him as an example. He has this ability to see the spark in people, no matter what background or possible shortcomings. and then fan the flame until it becomes a glowing fire. Passion is what drives his work, too. If there’s one thing I wanted to get across with this book, it’s this; put aside, although never erase, the schoolboy, the robot, the goth drop-out, the protester, the nature kid, the space-age casual. They’re only symbols, indicators. What they really convey is pure emotion without any trickery. Raf has proved that, in one big natural swoop and before the commentators can make their seasonal shopping round-up, fashion can indeed say something all-encompassing and essential about masculinity, society, individuality and freedom. Whispering, wondering, hesitant, shouting, jubilant or unafraid, Raf’s voice has always been for real. And I’m glad that the world has been taking note.

In 1991, Nicky Wire changed my life when he and Richey wrote the lyrics to “Motown Junk”. Five years ago, Raf also radically, positively redirected my own route by inviting me wholeheartedly into his world. If it wasn’t for him, I probably would still hide my strange scribblings and paste-and-cuttings in a box under my bed.

If the cover and the spine of this book could have taken more letters and words, this excerpt from Wire’s Manics lyric should have been the full title, because it truthfully sums up the full ten years of Raf Simons:

“It was no surface but all feeling

Maybe at the time it felt like dreaming”

Raf: Nicky and brotherhood.

– Peter De Potter


Raf Simons: Redux

Raf Simons : Peter De Potter : Maria Luisa Frisa

Fondazione Pitti Discovery




Raf Simons

Peter De Potter

Fondazione Pitti Discovery



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