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Raf Simons AW16
Raf Simons AW16Photography Willy Vanderperre, Styling Olivier Rizzo

Raf Simons debuts eerie AW16 campaign

Shot by Willy Vanderperre and styled by Olivier Rizzo, the images capture the unsettling spirit of the Nightmare and Dreams collection

Hot on the heels of his SS17 show at Pitti Uomo last night, which saw Simons draw on the S&M style of Robert Mapplethorpe, the fresh new images for his AW16 campaign have arrived.

Following suit from his brand’s SS16 campaign, the designer once again called upon his longtime collaborators for the series of photographs. The images feature his muse Luca Lemaire shot by Dazed favourite Willy Vanderperre, and styled by Olivier Rizzo – both friends of Simons’s since his early days studying in Antwerp.

A series of paired grey-scale and full-colour images, the campaign captures moody skies met with an elusive, partially obscured model. Some lit police-search style, the subject a deer in the headlights, others invasive up-shots of the model’s face – each highlighting the detail and texture of the Twin Peaks-inspired ‘Nightmare and Dreams’ range, and the juxtapositions present in Simon’s design process.

“I always think about nightmares, I’m always interested in horror movies, it has been coming back a lot,” he said backstage at this show. “I always like making beautiful things...but it’s also interesting when something goes wrong, something’s weird, something’s dark...there’s very much this contrast.”

Following his departure from Dior last year – a decision that he stated was “based entirely and equally on my desire to focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand” – the attention of his followers inevitably turned to his eponymous label, which turned 20 last year. Meanwhile, anticipation continues as to what his next move might be, with speculation mounting that he will fill the vacant creative director role at Calvin Klein.