2001 Felted Wool High Neck Blouson with Oversized Sleeves
Size 46 (oversized): Best for any size between an IT 46 - 36 Chest - S and an IT 50 - 40 Chest - M.
Raf Simons wool jacket from A/W 2001-2002 'Riot, Riot, Riot'. In excellent used condition; the interior pocket remains sewn shut. Made in Belgium.
In March 2000, Raf Simons decided to temporarily shut down his company. Becoming increasingly confined by the label's commercial growth, he announced that he will take a sabbatical to re-evaluate his direction. A year later, Simons returns to fashion with the support of Belgian manufacturer Gysemans Clothing Group and presents some of his most radical work, A/W 2001 'Riot, Riot, Riot'. The collection was inspired by Richey Edwards, the disappeared guitarist of British band Manic Street Preachers. Isabella Burley from Clash Magazine explains:
'Raf saw Richey as an isolated hero. Intrigued by his magnetism, he dedicated his A/W ’01-’02 collection to his infamous disappearance. The show was [...] presented in a disused factory in Paris [...]. Models were scouted from the streets of Antwerp and walked through an industrial set filled with smoke machines and scaffolding. The clothing was just as utilitarian and was made up of a uniform code of black, brown, khaki and dark blues. Camouflage bomber jackets were layered over long coats, whilst large hoods and scarves covered the models’ faces, obscuring their identities. Raf spent a lot of time looking back at archive images of Richey, editing, appropriating and then printed them onto patches. Documents included set-lists from Richey’s time in the Manics and the ‘Have you seen Richey?’ press release issued by South West Wales Police in February 1995. One of the most iconic images used was of Richey carving ‘4 REAL’ into his forearm following an argument with journalist Steve Lamacq in 1991. The act required hospitalization, seventeen stitches and turned Richey into an icon of self-harm. These images were sewn onto jacket sleeves, plastered onto the back of coats and printed on T-shirts. Raf created a uniform: a forty-four-look tribe of Richey gang members.'
Many 'Riot, Riot, Riot' designs were based on retro thrift-store finds that were drastically reworked by Simons to give them a dramatic and somewhat aggressive edge. This extremely rare jacket demonstrates this approach through its traditionalist details yet unconventional proportions. Its design is based on classic sportswear from the 70's and 80's, as seen in the collar's wool knit insert and gathered waist sides. At the same time, its proportions have been exaggerated to make it quintessential Simons: The sleeves are wide with voluminous armholes for a unique oversized silhouette, while the collar has been reinforced and enlarged to create a striking high neck. Carefully positioned pleats on the cuffs and around the waist give shape to the voluminous cut will adding a sophisticated point of interest. A contrasting zipper closure and diagonal side pockets with large welts complete the piece.
The jacket is crafted from heavy melton wool with 20% nylon for increased durability. The winter-weight fabric has a fleecy texture and a structured drape that complements the jacket's striking proportions. As mentioned earlier, the high collar has a knit wool insert in a chunky rib stitch, while the waistband features slightly gathered panels on the sides. The interior is fully lined in dense cotton twill on the body (featuring a large pocket) and smooth viscose sateen on the sleeves. The pleats seen on the exterior are precisely replicated on the linings for increased comfort without bulk, while Simons's signature hanging chain decorates the neckline. The buttons are crafted from genuine buffalo horn.
A simple yet striking design, this jacket is emblematic of the coveted A/W 2001 collection's subversive aesthetic. Its iconic silhouette will make a directional statement even in the most simple of outfits, while its quality ensures that it will withstand years of wear. In addition to its rarity, it should also be noted that this piece is in like-new condition despite its age.