Christian Dior Haute Couture spring/summer 2014
While desperately trying to be modern, Raf Simons elucidated his mantra as never before
How can you make haute couture modern? It's a puzzle many designers have wrestled with. But few are as convincing as Raf Simons in tackling the issue head-on. Why? Because haute couture, with its painstaking, handworked craft, attracts relatively few fashion modernists these days. It's much easier - and arguably more relevant - to be forward-thinking and progressive with ready-to-wear, considering you can actually sell the damn stuff, unlike haute couture, whose five-figure price-tags attract fewer and fewer clients.
That's one of the things that makes Raf Simons' Dior couture collections special. He's desperately trying to be modern. Sometimes, he's stumbled. But in his spring/summer 2014 couture collection, he elucidated his mantra as never before.
This was go-faster couture. He shoved hand-beaded trainers on a couple of his models to underline the point, but they weren't needed. The sense of dynamism, of speed, of movement, was worked into ever seam and aeration. There were plenty of those, dresses sliced open with minute windows on the flesh like couture artex, or perhaps like the petals of an especially exotic bloom.
Raf Simons' clothes looked light. They moved effortlessly. There were the vaguest ties to Dior's past - the eighteenth century backs reminded one of Cecil Beaton's declaration that Dior was fashion's Watteau, and the workmanship - minute embroideries, all that intricate cutting, every fragment sewn by hand - can only be achieved by a house of the magnitude of Dior. But the overall impression was of something fresh, new, and indeed modern. It was an injection of new life. Simons' spring sprung.
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...