A major contemporary art lover, Raf Simons chose paintings by American artist Sterling Ruby as motifs for four outfits of his first Dior Couture Fall 2012/13 collection. Although the silhouettes that opened Raf Simons’ couture collection for Dior were in ultra-chic monochrome black, reflecting the couturier’s work with the Bar jacket, reinterpreted here in a ‘smoking’ version, color soon followed, in touches of embroidery or shots of color blocking, eventually permeating the entire collection.
There were vivid Dior reds, pale pink, electric and navy blue, bright yellow and the most sensual of corals. But a color statement also emerged in the middle of the collection, showing up on four models like a central axis, on a coat, a long dress and two three-quarter length dresses, on which fuchsia, brown and gray shadowed each other, seeping and burnishing into a kind of print that one might call either kaleidoscopic or psychedelic. Simons found these all-over prints in the work of American artist Sterling Ruby, and reproduced entire paintings on duchesse satin.
“I worked with a special fabric supplier whose technique, which is typical of the mid-20th century, I’m obsessed with,” says Simons. “In the work of Sterling Ruby, there is a certain gesture, like a sweep of a brush but without brushstrokes, that I associate with this technique of fabric making,” he explains. The challenge: because the motif never repeats on the canvas, it was impossible to use traditional methods to replicate it on fabric. “No one had ever asked them to do such a thing before. And they did it,” he adds, understandably pleased. A major fan of contemporary art, Simons has been collecting Ruby’s work since the artist began his career in the early years of this century. Not unlike Christian Dior who, in his day, collected drawings by Christian Bérard and Pablo Picasso and paintings by Bernard Buffet.
Dior's Garden Couture
There were peonies, goldenrod, dahlias, carnations, delphiniums and all kind of roses. Flowers splayed from floor to ceiling. The décor for the Haute Couture presentation this season was an event unto itself.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: Courtesy of © Dior
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'Paris Haute Couture | Dior Couture by Raf Simons'