2003 'Resisted' Tank Top with Mesh Overlay
Size 46: best for an IT 46 - 36 Chest - S or an IT 44 - 34 Chest - XS. Can also be worn by women sized between UK 06 - US 04 and UK 12 - US 10.
Raf Simons 'Resisted' vest with mesh layer from S/S 2003 'Consumed'. In excellent used condition with minor fraying on right armhole. Made in Belgium.
Raf Simons's S/S 2003 collection was another bold exploration of the avant-garde designer's streetwear repertoire. This time, Simons introduced a sinister, post-apocalyptic narrative exploring ideas of commodification, advertising narratives and cultural appropriation. Realised in a largely monochrome palette, the clothes featured intricately layered details and deconstructed elements, while adorned with appropriated corporate logos, ambiguous messages and bold graphic elements. Entitled 'Consumed', the collection has been venerated as one of Simons's most radical moments. Peter Henderson explains:
"Fashion collections which tackle quite political, controversial themes often tend to descend into a sort of hyperactive farce (with inevitable comparisons to the ‘Derelicte’ collection in the film Zoolander), but Simons manages the matter masterfully, first because the collection is underpinned by sharp tailoring, and second because he merely observes the matter of consumerism and does not take sides. Simons was interested in exploring how brand codes, logos, and corporate language have permeated mainstream culture and society, and how today’s youth have adapted; he also considers the risks of being consumed as we consume."
In our view, this piece is one of the collection's most distinctive tops. The front features an iconic print that repeatedly states 'R S' (presumably Simons's initials) and 'RESISTED' in bold sans serif font. Designed by Simons in collaboration with Peter De Potter, the phrases consist of red and blue letters, with their arrangement forming the shape of an inverted cross. The piece is crafted from dense and structured cotton jersey with an additional layer of technical polyester mesh. The overlay lends a disheveled edge to the print's severe design, distorting its vibrant colours while creating beautiful texture irregularities.
The silhouette is slim and elongated with a tight round neckline and narrow armholes. This shape is highly reminiscent of Simons's early raver-inspired designs. Both fabrics are left with raw edges, and the mesh layer is cut slightly shorter for a disheveled look. Earlier variations of this concept can also be seen in Simons's late-90's collections (pictured: S/S 1999 'Kinetic Youth').
This top demonstrates that straightforward design ideas can have considerable impact when executed with rigour and sophistication. 'Consumed' is certainly one Simons's most coveted and influential collections, and few pieces capture its transgressive attitude more effectively than this top. We believe it will hold a prominent position in any serious Raf collection.