Fashion’s most important editors and designers were present to witness the dawn of a new Dior era with Raf Simons at the helm, as he presented his much-awaited debut collection for the illustrious Christian Dior house. All eyes were glued on the dresses as models traversed the arresting rooms laden with beautiful flowers in all colors imaginable.
From the first look Simons sent to the runway, we knew right away that the flamboyance of the John Galliano era has indeed come to a close. Julia Nobis, who opened the show, emerged from the end of the runway in a black hourglass-shaped tuxedo. It spoke volumes of Simons’ glamorous foray into the Dior archives, as he opted to banner the house’s signature hourglass silhouette.
While some critics quickly pounced on the show’s less-then-stellar start, Simons picked up the pace with an amazing assortment of looks that reminded us of his stint at Jil Sander while still reveling at the signature aesthetics of Dior. Everything was a throwback to the glamorous past of the Dior house without losing touch of Simons’ forward-thinking aesthetics. As such, sharp pants collided with voluminous peplum tops, tea-length dresses were fitted with pointy detailing on the chest, and the hourglass silhouette was zoomed to the future with metallic belts.
The color palette was as glorious as the blooms covering the walls of the venue. From the stunning embroidery on exaggerated peplum tops to the photo prints on splendid tea-length ball gowns, Simons took note of the minutest detail to create visual adventures after another. The sweeping evening looks also thrived in its uncomplicated homage to the simplicity of decades past, as it relied on bursts of colors such as fuchsia and canary yellow to bring out Simons’ impeccable tailoring. He carefully toed the line between overt sexiness and sheer modesty as well, with an unforgettable blue-skirted ball gown that had a sheer long-sleeved top.
Each of the 54 outfits that Simons may have its own unique story to tell, but the collection as a whole was a vivid detailing of Simons’ other-worldly capacity to tell stories through fabrics in the simplest of ways without losing grasp of Dior’s timeless and glamorous appeal. Simons’ statement was strong but feminine, sexy yet modest, and delicate yet modern, things that were distinctly absent when Galliano creatively steered the fashion house.
While we have been faithful believers of Simons from the start, this couture collection may have finally quieted down all his nonbelievers that he was never the right man to take Galliano’s place.
Photos from iMAXtree.com/Alessandro Lucioni