June 28, 2013

Raf Simons SS14: Onesies Pour Homme


To counter the artificiality creeping into society, Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons has introduced one-piece outfits for men inspired by infantwear. Here is NYT fashion critic Cathy Horyn reporting from backstage at the Spring/Summer 2014 shows in Paris:

With some of the shorts, there was no more than a narrow panel of fabric between legs. They sagged a bit around the models' bottoms, and when shown as a one-piece unit, they could be mistaken for a sporty shirt dress. The French have a word for the genuine baby article--grenouillère, meaning frog. I think the French are so clever.


Mr. Simons explained that, as many things in the world seem to him more and more artificial, "I wanted to find something that was the ultimate opposite -- and that is a baby, a baby boy."

Yes, well, where to start. Grenouillère does not mean frog. It means frog habitat. It is also the name of a popular 19th century working class swimming resort on the Seine outside Paris called La Grenouillère. Monet's painting of it is in the Metropolitan.

Also grenouillère are not onesies, or even rompers or jumpers. They're footies and sleepers.

From contemporary reports, I gather that La Grenouillère's popularity increased as gendarmes in Paris stepped up arrests for swimming nude in the Seine. So perhaps this place lent its name to a one-piece swimming costume, which we now see as a sleeper. Here is washed up British singer Robbie Williams wearing a grenouillère on a plane:


Ms. Horyn seems to think that "16-year-old fashion boys, and probably some 25-year-olds" are dying for these garments right now. But why should boys have to wait that long? Why couldn't Mr. Simons produce his man onesies--mansies?--in actual baby sizes? Or even better, in matching father & son sets?


When Mr. Simons has a fashion offering as rich and varied and innovative as the Pajamagram company's Hoodie-Footie™ For The Whole Family collection, we can talk.

Raf Simons | Who do we respect? [nyt]

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