Raf Simons: A David Lynch Affair

“I always think about nightmares, I’m always interested in horror movies, it has been coming back a lot. I always like making beautiful things… but it’s also interesting when something goes wrong, something is weird, something is dark… there is very much this contrast,” designer Raf Simons said after his post-Dior show in 2016, entitled Nightmares and Dreams. His words echoed the notorious “The owls are not what they seem” line from Twin Peaks. The sentiment Simons draws from is Lynchian, where one produces an unfamiliarity in that which was once familiar to everyday life.

Twin Peaks first aired on the ABC network in the spring of 1990 and launched a national frenzy over who killed Laura Palmer. During Simons’ time at university, he and his fellow students staged viewing parties and were engulfed in the iconic television series which was set against the backdrop of an all-American small town, where mundane life was displaced by demonic, surreal forces. It also marked a turning point in the history of television, changing the perception of the “idiot box” and paving a way for it to be a medium of masterful art. 

But, this isn’t the only reference he’s made to David Lynch’s projects, the others include Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart. For his Fall/Winter 2019 collection, Raf Simons reignites his long-term adoration for the surrealist director of Americana. He released two shirts earlier this month, paying tribute to Twin Peaks and Lynch’s 1986 neo-noir Blue Velvet. Both of which highlights the theme of dreams. 

Lynch himself described Blue Velvet as “a dream of strange desires wrapped inside a mystery story.” The first piece features a large portrait of a blue-tinted Laura Dern against a white long-sleeved t-shirt with a relaxed fit. The second piece has a vinyl print of a cut from Twin Peaks in a red tint, uncanny to that of the curtains in the black lodge of Agent Cooper’s dream sequence. On a black short-sleeved tee, it features the show’s recognizable characters: Dale Cooper, Laura Palmer and Bobby Briggs. 

Like the subject of Lynch’s films, such as Laura and Maddie from Twin Peaks that explores the concept of “dualism” with its blend of light and dark to the characters, these pieces contrast each other with prints of red and blue.