– By Andrea Mestrovic –
It was probably one of the most crucial collections in the history of the brand. As Belgian designer Raf Simons takes over Dior, after a ghastly Galliano exit, his first prêt-à-porter collection for the French fashion house had to heal, encourage, and uplift – but at the same time, bring a nostalgic sense of antiquity and supremacy that is Dior. In recently threatening times, this has been consciously forgotten by its devotees – that is, until now.
“Sex, freedom, movement, sensuality, and minimalism” were the motivation behind Simons’ debut at Dior. He started the show with a clean slate: a liberating, protagonist line-up of technically flawless suits and jacket dresses. This new Dior femme seemed strident, sexy and dimly unapologetic. What followed was an exciting and sensuous take on minimalism in the form of bulbous, striated mini ball gowns in gusts of pink and metallic. “If you do minimalism now – and it seems to be having a big moment – it has to be fun…not just about a white shirt” Simons highlights backstage after the show.
The carnival continued with silk mini dresses (over shorts) and asymmetrical neon layers, some with bias cut pleats straight from the 50’s and some that hugged the curves with tonal tulle overlays fanning around them. Freedom of movement and tranquil fabric flow were an unanticipated but stimulating departure from Dior’s legendary constriction and corseting. Even the consummate Lady Dior bag from Galliano’s reign got a bit of an update – all that stern metal hardware was changed to same-color plastic.
The stand outs, as always, were left for the end. In an all-embracing amalgam of past strengths and futuristic brand assets, Simons brings back Dior’s 1947 New Look skirt – but slims it down, lowers the hemline to the ankle, and splashes this new techno fabric with neon, metallic roses. To bring it back to minimalism, he pairs these iconic skirts with artless black bodysuits, and manages to further emphasize their importance.
It is safe to say that Dior is back – largely thanks to the new mastermind at the helm.
Andrea Mestrovic is a multi-lingual, multi-talented, but modest multi-tasker who has lived on both sides of the Atlantic. Andrea has a sure-footed instinct for discovering magnificent finds all over the globe. You can follow her on twitter @AndreaMestrovic or read all her posts on oliviapalermo.com/author/andrea
Photos courtesy of Style.com