Yesterday, in a Parisian room papered floor to ceiling with over a million flowers, the most anticipated fashion debut of recent years took place; Raf Simons’ first couture collection for Dior. The Dutchman, who departed from a glorious seven year stint at Jil Sander last season, took up the helm at Dior with huge expectation upon his shoulders and a buzz around him which drew the likes of Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz and Azzedine Alaïa to his show.
Pale pink dresses, floral corsets and clinched in waists gave touches of femininity here, demonstrating Simons’ trait of wearing his heart on his sleeve. However he played with architecture too; wide peplum corsets looking like half-ballgowns were paired with cigarette pants, tuxedo jackets were cut into the classic Bar style of Dior, and the court shoe stilettos were razor sharp. Details on the clothes – a feather-skirted tuxedo dress, a half beaded blazer which rippled as it moved, a paint dripped gown referencing Sterling Ruby – all hinted at the understated brilliance of Simons. He has the ability to add touches which catch the eye and stick in the memory of those who see them.
It could hardly be ignored that a structured and pocketed dress bore exactly the same hue of pink as those which opened Simons’s swansong collection at Raf Simons. All the emotion of that last collection was mirrored here but in the sense that Dior is moving forward. Though he is bound to delve into the archives and give us more notes from Dior’s iconic history, there will undoubtedly be flashes of Simons’ own personal flair as he settles at the house. Not since Galliano left has Dior couture been the romantic and magic fashion affair we loved. Now however, it would seem that both it, and Simons are in the ascension.
P.S. Anyone notice Alber Elbaz's Nike sneakers? What a dude.