Lean yet loose collection for Raf Simons

THOMAS ADAMSON AP Fashion Writer Published:

PARIS (AP) -- There was a slightly disingenuous feeling in the air at the spring-summer 2013 menswear collection of acclaimed designer Raf Simons.

The 44-year-old Belgian has, of course, recently taken the creative helm of fashion powerhouse Christian Dior, following John Galliano's unceremonious departure last year.

That Wednesday's show was much bigger than last season's, sprawling over two floors, might lead some to think that the added interest wasn't just for the menswear.

But if anyone's attention did wander, it was pulled back by the disturbing syncopated music that opened the collection -- an array of lean yet loose silhouettes.

The unsettled feeling in the music lent itself immediately to the garb.

Moody models with long asymmetrical fringes filed out in seven dark, lean and near-identical two button suits.

It would have been a case of deja vu -- had it not been for the subtle variations, such as color tone, the positioning of pockets, and sneakers versus patent leather shoes.

As the collection progressed, Simons seemed to loosen up a little, allowing printed elongated T-shirts a dash of color, and on-trend white boxy shirts a floral collar flourish.

The color must have been infectious. The floral prints soon spread their way from collars to cover the entirety of several joyous day coats.

On the happy note this strong collection thus came full circle. The only drawback: the girly touches might not be a big hit with buyers.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP