Christian Dior Couture Fall 2012
The fash-pack were ablaze on Twitter with anticipation and baited breath for the debut of Raf Simons’ first collection for the grand house of Christian Dior. Tweets of the decorum – fresh floral adornments over the space of five salon rooms – to the arriving guests such as fellow couturiers Donatella Versace to high profile editors like Carine Roitfeld, this was one show that was not to be taken lightly. With a livestream ready to go, and all members of the fashion world tweeting and “Instagramming” their way through the collection, Raf Simons soon became a Trending tweet soon enough. And with more reason than any.
The collection was in a word, astounding. The perfect marriage between Simons’ minimalistic aesthetic and that of the classic Dior, the collection was a symbiosis between the two, signaling the start of a beautiful, much needed breath of fresh air in to the house. Classic Dior shapes, such as the full skirt and accentuated waist, were paired alongside Raf’s unique, tailored, minimalistic cuts, as shown in the opening suits and dresses, cinched in to hark back to the classic ‘New Look’ that Dior had penned in his heyday. The atypical couture feature of extravagant embellishment featured intricately on the bubble waisted pieces, whilst the always-necessary simple fabric detailing was present as well. A range of fabrics, from fur to sheer, was used, potentially symbolizing the consummation between the Dior and Simons aesthetic, only proving how ideal this new appointment is. The cocoon coat and subsequent coatdresses all harked back to a Dior of yesteryear, but were modernized through Raf’s use of dyed prints and even the simple yet precise tailoring.
This architectural approach to the design and construction of the collection only juxtaposes what Simons was focusing on, such as Dior’s usage of the ‘Flower Women’ name, which he used to describe the ‘New Look’. “The architecture of flowers is analyzed in a different way for the contemporary world,” wrote Simons in his collection notes, adding that an “intense, new use of color” was key, and this key was shown throughout. His deconstruction of dresses to include a pair of tailored pants beneath highlighted his similarities to Dior himself, who would throw in something to throw off what Simons referred to as ‘perfect’ patterns. And though some critics may mention that Simons’ minimalism took a back seat, one may note that in comparison to his predecessor John Galliano and Bill Gaytten, the minimal approach only supports Raf’s decision to revisit and revamp Christian Dior’s own designs. However, the use of bright colors and different, embroidered textures was surely a massive leap forward for the designing darling, it was clear that he embraced the world of couture.
No doubt one of the most anticipated collections of the year – nay, the past year and a half, since Galliano’s firing – the collection only gives us hope for the future of the house of Dior, especially given Simons’ marvellous and astounding debut at the couture house. All we can truly say is – bring on the ready-to-wear, Raf. Bring. It. On.