Rewind to last season and one of the highlights – always – was undoubtably Raf Simons’ drug-inspired collection. Transforming the catwalk into a decaying Bacchanalian feast, Simons took influence from Uli Edel’s groundbreaking 1981 film, Christiane F., having first encountered the story as part of his school curriculum.
For those unacquainted with the story, Christiane F is a cautionary tale of teen drug addiction and child prostitution based on the true story of Christiane Vera Felscherinow. Having moved to West Berlin at a young age with her abusive and neglectful parents, she soon fell into heroin addiction and prostitution, selling her trade around Berlin’s then largest station, Bahnhof Zoo.
Here, Simons lifted the film’s key protagonists, Detlev and Christiane F. onto his collection as a poignant reminder of the continual problems posed by narcotics and the reluctance to discuss drugs or the root of addiction. In highlighting these taboo topics, Simons is honouring the social legacy of Christiane F, which unashamedly portrayed drug use and addiction in a way that forced people to recognise it as a problem that demanded action.
Far from condoning or romanticising drug use, Simons is illustrating the magnitude of a problem that still exists, most evidently in the American opioid crisis of the last few years. In recognition of this, part of the proceeds from sales of the Youth In Motion collection will be donated to organisations that support the recovery of drug addicts.
Raf Simons FW18 collection is available here.