The rarest and most highly-desired Raf Simons item featured here on HUIBEN. This tee released in February of 2001 when Raf became guest editor for Issue #206. The first letter of each word are in i-D magazine's logotype and the rest in Borges Blanca. A soft, substantial cotton in a deep black colour. The print is a white screen print, cracking has been kept to a minimum although still slightly noticeable. The shape of the tee is in line with some of the looser Spring/Summer 1998 tees in the same dense cotton fabric, including dropped shoulders making the sleeves a near mid-arm length. The tee is most definitely oversized considering many of the other size 46 tee-shirts from this period fit more like a 44.
It's potentially a little pretentious, or overly analytical to speak about a screen-printed tee-shirt the way I'm about to but I feel like this tee is worth it. The words "Isolation" and "Disorder"; what to say about these words? Heady? Evocative? Morose? I think all 3. Nevermind, perhaps it is better to discuss the collection as a whole for context, since this tee was most likely a sample from the collection altered to cleverly incorporate i-D magazine's logo. There was a short sleeved sweater printed with the word "Disorder" from the same collection (that has unfortunately eluded my collection a few times) that leads me to believe this is the case. It may seem cheap or obvious to print part of the title of the collection like this to some of you, and maybe it is. I think that's is exactly what makes this tee-shirt such a great item, there is some self-awareness and care-free "fuck it" quality to be found here, especially in regards to the collection which is almost all purely a metaphorical allegory to those 3 words "Isolation", "Incubation" and "Disorder". So, Autumn/Winter 1999, "Disorder. Incubation. Isolation.", a peculiar yet profoundly fitting title for what is potentially my favourite collection ever presented.
There is no true clarity in what Raf meant with the clothing and styling in this collection, but this is my interpretation. The looks from the collection spanned from black-haired models clad in sinister, somber draped capes to vibrant, beautifully fitted grey and maroon tailored coats wonderfully worn by blonde-haired models. I believe this pseudo-juxtaposition between the two could mean a few things. Conceivably, it is this juxtaposition that creates the "disorder" - that we have both somewhat bright, amiable characters alongside these dark, beings of the night. This juxtaposition is a product of musings on the nature of self and on humanity, that we are creatures that embody this duality between the most extreme ends of the spectrum, and that there is some "disorder" here. Alternatively, maybe these are manifestations of ourselves internally and externally, or rather what we portray versus what we feel in the deepest pits of our souls, once again touching on "disorder". These feelings of "isolation" are poetically presented in those capes, and where the models stand; alone - lit in dim light. Isolation itself is undeniably one of any person's greatest fears - being neglected, misunderstood and unable to share. We are bound by our need to be a part of and without that we are ultimately and totally lost. Maybe this is where the "disorder" comes from after all, maybe it is not in between the juxtaposition of both the dark and the light but rather within the pain and fear that sits at the bottom of that well that we could at any time fall into. Isolation is the home of disorder, where it is incubated, where it brews and bubbles - a disorder in the mind, of perception and of ourselves.
Sometimes it's good to be obvious, especially if you aren't usually.
One of my most prized possessions.
Made in Belgium.
8/10 condition, slight pilling of the fabric and minor print cracking.