Saturday, 7 November 2015

Six points from Raf Simons’ interview with Cathy Horyn for System Magazine F/W15 Issue

In an exclusive interview with renowned fashion journalist and critic Cathy Horyn, for System Magazine’s Fall Winter 2015 issue, Raf Simons opens up about leaving Dior, the creative and emotional challenges designers’ faces in current fashion environment - lack of work-life balance, and the state of fashion at large.

Here are excerpts from this interesting interview, courtesy Business of Fashion via System :

On the increasing lack of time to work on a collection:
"You know, we did this collection in three weeks," he told Cathy Horyn, stating the reality that now faces high-fashion houses. "Tokyo was also done in three weeks. Actually everything is done in three weeks, maximum five. And when I think back to the first couture show for Dior, in July 2012, I was concerned because we only had eight weeks."

On how the current speed of fashion paralyses creativity:
"When you do six shows a year, there's not enough time for the whole process," he told Cathy Horyn. "Technically, yes - the people who make the samples, do the stitching, they can do it. But you have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important. When you try an idea, you look at it and think, Hmm, let's put it away for a week and think about it later. But that's never possible when you have only one team working on all the collections. What are you going to do? Walk out of the office at 8 o'clock at night? No, of course not. So you stay there until midnight. That's the life. 

On his never ending schedule:
"The problem is when you have only one design team and six collections; there is no more thinking time. And I don’t want to do collections where I’m not thinking. In this system, Pieter [Mulier, Simons’s right hand] and I can’t sit together and brainstorm — no time. I have a schedule every day that begins at 10 in the morning and runs through the day, and every, every minute is filled. From 10:10am to 10:30am, it’s shoes, let’s say. From 10:30 to 11:15, it’s jewelry. Everything is timed — the whole week. If there’s a delay in a meeting, the whole day is fucked up ...

On democratisation of Fashion:
"Fashion became pop. I can’t make up my mind if that’s a good or a bad thing. The only thing I know is that it used to be elitist. And I don’t know if one should be ashamed or not to admit that maybe it was nicer when it was more elitist, not for everybody. Now high fashion is for everybody."

On everything being easily accessible:
"Everything is so easily accessible, and because of that you don’t make a lot of effort anymore. When we were young, you had to make up your mind to investigate something — because it took time. You really had to search and dig deep. Now if something interests you, one second later, you can have it. And also one second later you also drop it."

On not having enough time:
"This is the feeling I have all the time," he continues, clearly exasperated. "There’s never enough time. You get a tension. I know how to pull out from this in my personal life. We go and look at nature for three hours. It’s heaven. We go to a bakery and buy a bag of stuff and lie in the grass. Sublime. But how to do that in the context of your professional life? You buy a house and you start doing pottery or something?"


Read an excerpt of the interview at The Business of Fashion and the entire feature in the System Magazine’s Fall Winter 2015 Issue

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