AW 2001 Riot Riot Riot Patched Sweater
Condition: Pre-owned, excellent
Fabric: 100% Wool
Pit to pit: 26.5"
Top to bottom: 34"
Sleeve outseam: 21.5"
Fall 2001 marked Simons’s return to fashion after a one-year sabbatical. In March of 2000, he walked away from his budding empire and took on a host of other jobs, teaching at a design school in Vienna and consulting for a Belgian shipping magnate on his art collection. A new manufacturing partnership allowed him to decrease the size of his team and work more intimately with his collaborators. The result was Fall 2001’s hyper-stylized collection of urban radicals. This was a rejection of the slim, gangly shapes of Simons’s early work. Oversize everything—bomber jackets, hoods, striped turtlenecks, trousers—made up the bulk of the lineup, with models covered completely in garments, many with scarves wrapped threefold around their faces. “At the flea market in Vienna, I saw young Sisters from the Ukraine or Romania, who simply lay layer by layer and thus create their own volumes because of the cold,” he told the Swiss paper Neue Zürcher Zeitung at the time. What else to call this collection of iconoclasts but “Riot Riot Riot”?
Fashion folks, accustomed to the posh environs of the First Arrondissement, might not have liked the trek to a cold, damp warehouse filled with smoke and flashing lights in Neuilly-sur-Seine, necessary to see this show—but they loved the clothes. The haphazardly layered look redefined men’s fashion in the moment, a clean break from the hyper-slim suits of Simons’s peers.
But this show was not just about shape—it was also about obsession, intensity, and authenticity. Flyers for Sonic Youth and Joy Division concerts, Christiane F. movie posters, photographs, and scraps of sayings were tacked onto garments in a haphazard manner, the way a fan might DIY a tee before heading to a concert. Among them were several photos of the band Manic Street Preachers and a police blotter report from the disappearance of its guitarist Richey Edwards in 1995, which stoked a minor controversy in Wales, the band’s home country. In a surreal twist, a Covent Garden shopkeeper reported that the band’s bassist, Nicky Wire, bought a jumper with his likeness on it from the store.