With its interior walls dripping in thousands of white orchids, the custom-built circular venue space that housed Dior’s Fall 2015 Haute Couture presentation set a bright and airy tone for a collection that reflected those exact qualities. A modern interpretation of iconic historical fashion codes from centuries past, Raf Simons’ fifth Couture collection for Dior demonstrated the designer’s interest in the attire of bygone eras and saw his imagination take flight.
Beginning with a series of silk ball gowns featuring pannier hoops that expanded the hips of the silhouette, the sartorial “journey through history” Dior unveiled on Monday showed everything from Edwardian court coats and bodices to modern parachute suits and flapper dresses – many painstakingly beaded and executed to alluring effect.
Received with much appreciation were the above-mentioned royal court coats and jackets. The sumptuous choice of materials (think swoon-worthy pastel astrakhan fur) embellished with intricate embroidery turned these masculine classics into true objects of desire for the twenty-first century woman.
While his passion for fashions of the past was evident in this collection, Raf Simons’ ultimate strength (and what seems to be the formula for Dior’s reinvention and continual relevance) is the couturier’s remarkable ability to rework fabrics in an innovative manner, adding fresh details through subtle, streamlined modifications, thus rendering his clothes unquestionably contemporary without straying too far from the feminine framework of the maison. It is through channeling these talents that Raf Simons is able to openly reference pieces that have existed for centuries without making them feel nostalgic or staid.