1997 Short Tailored Shirt with Removable Hood
Size 52: Best for an IT 48 - 38 Chest - S/M or a slim IT 50 - 40 Chest - M.
Raf Simons shirt from A/W 1997-1998. In excellent used condition. Made in Belgium.
Over the past few seasons, the importance of Raf Simons' visionary work has been increasingly acknowledged by fans and critics alike. Consequently, more and more people are rediscovering Simons' strongest collections to date, from the 90s to the mid 00s. The conceptualism, design and execution of the garments from Simons' first decade demonstrate his competence as a truly experimental designer, while making most of his contemporary collections pale in comparison.
A/W 1997 was a very important season for Simons, marking the first time his clothing was showcased in a runway presentation. Despite only being his fourth collection, the designer's signature transgressive aesthetic is prominent and flawlessly executed. The look was inspired by a theoretical exchange project between American University students and English schoolboys at a British campus, with a subtle emphasis on Punk and New Wave details. While many of the garments looked casual and youthful, they were realised in conservative British fabrics found in classical tailoring.
This extremely rare shirt was one of the collection's signature tops and exemplifies Simons's idiosyncratic approach. Its fabric is a substantial cotton broadcloth in steel grey. The material has a crisp texture and semi-structured drape that complements the shirt's subversive tailored cut, with a short waist length, elongated slim sleeves and extremely defined shoulders. Most interestingly, the fitted proportions of the shirt are juxtaposed with a removable hood, that can be attached to the shirt through three sets of buttons. Its oversized shape and chunky woven drawstrings inject a certain playfulness into the otherwise severe style.
The shirt's detailing is quintessential Simons, and features many of the details that were found prominently in his 1990s collections. The collar is small and chunky, while the right chest has a geometrical patch pocket with a buttoned flap. The hem is curved and slightly shorter on the front. On the back, precise darts give the shirt a severe form-fitting cut. The cuffs have a strong curvilinear shape, while the short cuff openings have sharp rectangular edges. All buttons are realised in genuine mother of pearl. Please also note that the typical white-on-black Raf Simons label is absent, giving its place to an ornate embroidered logo.
Overall, this piece is a true rarity that acts as a testament to the strength of Simons's vision, even at such an early stage of his brilliant fashion trajectory.