raf simons is unarguably one of the most influential designers in the menswear arena. his ability to elucidate a concept with such precision and discipline has made his work at the venerable house of jil sander one of the most consistently directional forces in fashion. while last season was an exercise in severity with slim silhouettes and sharp angles, this season saw simons experimenting with severity in a different form. one of raf's strengths is his ability to manipulate the form of the male figure and for this collection his experimentation with the form took him to a shape that normally belonged to the female of the species. the hourglass. jackets were cut with wide slopping shoulders which tapered in to accent a raised waist and gently rolled down past the hips that ended up, as with all of raf's collections, something architectural, futuristic, vaguely familiar, yet excitingly modern. while this new shape the designer is proposing might not be the most commercially viable to a mass market especially in these troubled economic times, the house of jil sander under the direction of simons has become a house for a very specialized consumer. it is for the man who understands and appreciates the attention to cut, the fabrication, and the intellect behind the decision to propose such ideas. in raf's work there is the sincerity and passion about his chosen craft that is so apparent that one might not particularly adapt to his proposals, but nevertheless admire the unyielding force of the designers convictions and the vision to constantly look to the future.