As if a collection that looks like a glittery rainbow threw up all over it could be this elegant, sophisticated, and precise. But of course. It’s Raf Simons. The man, the myth, the visionary presented his Dior couture collection in Paris this past Monday, and it made a a massive impression on me. Dior, as one of the oldest French fashion houses, has long been synonymous with feminine style. Raf Simons, on the other hand, spent much of his career as a menswear designer and later on as creative director at the austerely minimalist Jil Sander. When the LVMH Group named Simons the new creative director of Dior in 2012 to replace Galliano after that whole anti-Semitism debacle, the fashion world regarded it with the same level of apprehension that they gave to news of Galliano’s recent appointment as creative director at Margiela. However, in the three years since his career change, Simons has proven himself to be quite adept at respecting the Dior brand and legacy, season after season, while still staying true to his own values and aesthetics as an avant garde designer.
What this translates into for this particular season is a strong sense of futurism in familiar, lady-like shapes. Like a successful self-made businesswoman from the year 2095 (or so I imagine), the Dior woman of this collection isn’t afraid to experiment with style references from decades’ past and combine them using modern techniques and materials to create something new. She’s also into cool updos like this mystifying doorknocker ponytail that I still can’t quite figure out. The colourful vinyl go-go boots with cage-like heels reminded me of an updated Jetsons costume piece. The printed plastic coats might send couture purists into a disapproving frenzy, but it’s 2015. Let’s move on to newer, more interesting materials, shall we? The pleated rainbow chiffon skirts of the first couple of looks made my jaw drop with its obviously flawless craftsmanship, and the sequined 60s-inspired dress paired with a floor length coat was a mind-blowing ode to Edie Sedgwick.
This is a collection that grows more stunning the more you stare at it. To be frank, my immediate reaction was one of bewilderment. It’s a lot to take in. But the complexity of the layers and details form a bigger picture that’s ultimately unforgettable.
What did you guys think of it?
Images via style.com