Christian Dior was a pioneer. Literally a synonym with Fashion. He changed the times. Nearly 67 years after being founded, the house of Dior stands tall, and illustrious just as ever. I have been a sucker for John Galliano for Dior, so when Raf Simons took over the helm in 2012, I wasn’t jumping with joy. Simons to me means structure, masculinity and romance in a very un-Dior way. Today, I can say Raf’s version of Dior has grown on me slowly and steadily and for once I’m not complaining.
Autumn/Winter’14 held the unexpected pleasure for my eyes. A new woman emerged at Dior. She isn’t the women in Dior’s garden of leisure, but one living in the pace of the city, as Raf Simons said. Dior’s Femme Fleur now is an amalgamation of the real and the imagined. She is still the delicate Dior woman but stronger, bolder, a woman with power and energy. She is the woman of the city.
Surprisingly the fresh flowers in the Dior garden weren’t in sight this time around, replaced by an abstract electric flowering from the ceiling, echoing the shimmering, distant city lights.
For the first time it felt like Simons was at home, doing what he does best. He reached deep down to his mens-wear tailoring roots keeping intact the essence of the Dior woman.
This is the new age Dior woman. She enjoys her leisure parties as much as she enjoys her work. She’s left fussy details, and fancy embroideries behind. This time when hemlines dipped, it was to give the garments shape and movement.
Raf Simons knowledge of tailoring is no hidden secret, and this time around he took the route never taken before at Dior. It wasn’t for the fantasy world, it was for the reality. Combining femininity and masculinity is tricky, but Raf did it with ease. While masculinity ran in the tailored coats and jackets in flannel, camel, and pinstripe, intensely feminine colours and silks added the right amount of femininity.
What caught my eye was the impeccable cutting and dazzling colour mixes. The New Look Bar Jacket from 1947, has been given a new twist. Sometimes its worn with straight cut trousers of the same colour, and sometimes it’s lengthened into a “Bar” dress, as Raf mentions. After closely looking at the corseting (crisscrossing) on one of the bar-dresses, I realised it wasn’t a ribbon or a string, but in fact sneaker laces, something that Raf had earlier tried to diffuse into his Couture collection for Dior earlier this year. The stiletto’s have already made headlines, what appeared to me like children’s blocks, were Simons version of sneakers that transformed into stilettos. I already imagine them flying off the shelves once this collection hits the racks. I am still lusting over the dazzling combination of the fuchsia wool and green quilted crepe dress, and the pink quilted dress.
Adding popsicle brights and ankle-skimming sequin T-shirt dresses in place of red carpet gowns, was Raf Simons version of the modern-day couture. Long flute-hemmed stole’s, silver cuffs, bright slim envelope bags with chain handles was the perfect accessorizing for this collection. The skirts came as weightless puffs of quilted silk with asymmetric hemlines which moved to show the brilliant tailoring of the garment. Classic darks with jolts of electrifying colour saw Raf breaking rules, just like Christian had, way back in 1947.
Undoubtedly this is Raf’s best at Dior. Theres a change at the house, but its a good change. Finally Raf Simons has arrived at Dior.
This is Raf Simons Dior.
Ps: I would like to thank the team at Dior India for all their help.