Paris Fashion Week: Dior swaps the garden for the city
When a new designer is transplanted to an existing fashion house, there's an interesting tension to the arrangement. Raf Simons' tenure at Christian Dior has been filled with tension.
Initially, there was the tension of whether Simons - hitherto a ready-to-wear designer, predominantly in menswear - would be able to grapple with the considerable legacy of the world's most famous couture house whose design emblemise hyper-feminine mid-century womanhood.
Simons is a clever designer, a designer who is obsessed with codes, uniformity, rules. He likes to test those rules, chafe at the boundaries, push them almost to breaking point. He's been tinkering with the uniforms and codes of Dior since he began. The New Look, the cinch-waisted Tailleur Bar, the foliate references - Monsieur Dior's first collection was titled “Corolle,” because the skirts opened around the female body like the corolla of a flower.
As we walked into the autumn/winter 2014 Dior show, we were greeted with a ceiling of “flowers”: digital flowers, that is, an angled assemblage of LED screens flashing with pixellated, vaguely floral imagery, like a barrage of solar panels. That suggested the direction of his latest Dior collection: modernity. Namely, dragging the Dior woman out of her garden and onto the streets of an eminently real urban metropolis. What that really means is that Simons by and large ditched the ball gowns and kitted his women out in suit, after suit, after impeccably cut suit.
There were dresses, of course. But a trio of sheer spangled slips at the end felt like an afterthought. The crux of Simons' winter message came in his impeccable suiting, a carry-over from his own menswear background, forming a hybrid with the innately, intensely feminine sphere of Dior. The tension was still there, but you weren't wondering if Simons' Dior was going to work. It did, gloriously. The tension came from anticipating what he would do next, where he would push us, and Dior.
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...