The photographer/director duo of HART + LËSHKINA worked with PF editor Jamie Lansdowne to create this thoughtful contemplation on Raf Simmon’s Mapplethorpe-inspired SS17 line:
“Shot at a Trellick Tower, Ernő Goldfinger’s brutalist masterpiece in West London, photographers HART + LËSHKINA capture model Robbi Gruendler in the Raf Simons SS17 collection. For SS17, Simons reconfigures recognisable shapes – the white shirt, the blue blazer, the polo shirt – and presents them in new proportions and with a bold sense of scale. The collection also includes the one- o Raf Simons + Robert Mapplethorpe collaboration, which sees the designer incorporating the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe onto each of the garments.
‘For the launch of the iconic collaboration between Raf Simons and the estate of Robert Mapplethorpe we wanted an equally iconic location, and found it in Trellick Tower. Ernő Goldfinger’s ambition to create something monumental and beautiful out of mundane materials and surroundings is akin to the way Mapplethorpe found beauty in the every day. We added the drama of shooting from a drone to get the full impact of the building in its surroundings, and had excellent luck with some incredible frosty light in the London winter sunrise.’
‘I don’t want to show clothes, I want to show my attitude, my past, present and future. I use memories and future visions and try to place them in today’s world,’ says Raf Simons. Put simply, the Belgian designer is one of the most influential and revered in menswear for his cerebral, potent collections. Youth and subculture are recurring themes for his work, which consistently incorporates influences from contemporary art, music, film and culture. Fitting then, that the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation contacted the designer for SS17 asking if he’d like to work with them. The result is a collection in which ‘every boy is a representation of a piece of [Mapplethorpe’s] work’.”