Raf Simons' NSFW Spring 2017 Collection

Raf Simons' NSFW Spring 2017 Collection

Join Us For An Exclusive Backstage Look At The Biggest Names In Menswear This Spring/Summer '17

Join Us For An Exclusive Backstage Look At The Biggest Names In Menswear This Spring/Summer '17

Photography: Sonny Vandevelde

Text: VERONICA RADYUK

Raf Simons has collaborated with many highly-esteemed artists in the past, from visual artist Sterling Ruby to graphic designer Peter Saville, each conceptual collection serving as a noteworthy canvas to showcase groundbreaking motifs. The Belgian designer's latest work is no different and makes use of provocative elements (see erect penis jacket below). Simons's Spring/Summer 2017 show took place in Florence, Italy, and the designer chose to incorporate the late Robert Mapplethorpe's images into his pieces. Mapplethorpe was an American photographer known for his raw artwork, often using nude male anatomy as a focal point in each of his photos.

It is to no surprise that someone as influential as Mapplethorpe in the art realm would match up well with an influential fashion designer like Raf. An ode to the provocative and cutting-edge, Raf Simons's spring collection served as a physical reflection of his career. Models walked down the runway wearing asymmetrical sweaters and uniquely cut button-downs, showing the season's updated takes on men's essential pieces. As for accessories, women aren't the only ones who can sport chokers. The runway models wore belts around their necks, a grungy interpretation of the popular accessory trend.

The male nudity element, while shocking, is nothing new to the runway. Designer Walter van Beirendonck showcased penis-printed underwear almost twenty years ago during a show while Rick Owens had models wear tunics with silhouettes, crafted to openly display men's crotches just last year.

Now, where does one where such pieces? That'll be something to think long and hard about.

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