“I think it’s time to free couture,” declared Raf Simons as he came up from hugging a delighted Jennifer Lawrence amid the backstage melee of congratulations after his third Christian Dior couture show. “It annoys me that couture is thought of as the circus clown of fashion,” he continued. “What interests me is to get down to a more psychological level. To think about individuality, and the cultures women live in.”
Enjoy the DIOR Couture fashion show video at the end of this post! Love, Andrea
As a force relatively new to couture, it is fascinating to watch Simons apply his experimental intelligence to creating an immersive experience out of his shows, while simultaneously thinking through what it means to design for Christian Dior’s global clientele. This time, he treated his audience to a show conceptualized to investigate the influence of Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa on Dior. Huge digital projections of the girls wearing the clothes shot by Patrick Demarchelier, Terry Richardson, Willy Vanderperre, and Paolo Roversi appeared on the walls of a white box as the models walked past.
Although he divided the collections into sections gray tweed tailoring symbolizing France, clean-cut coats and sporty scarves for America; spiky 3-D Japanese fabrics for Asia;and Masai-inspired drapes and tribal beading for Africa it was far from being a show about regional stereotypes (which might have fallen into Simons’s idea of couture as “circus.”) Instead, it was more of a series of investigations of form, color, asymmetric draping, and degrees of transparency (semi-sheer skirts are trending all over Paris). The underlying sense is that Simons is pushing himself both to explore possibilities beyond the classic Fifties Dior templates he honored when he first stepped into the house last year, and to challenge his own innate minimalism.
Among the diversity of looks there were beautiful standouts: a series of the strapless dresses that are sure to be a Simons-for-Dior hit on every red carpet; a scarlet fur coat with cutout shoulders; an amazingly regal black-and-white-spotted full-skirted dress with a caped back and matching elbow-length gloves. What the whole might have lacked in total coherence was more than made up for in the believability of every piece. Simons is outward-looking, keen to learn, and to tune into the lives of modern women; it’s easy to imagine his reality-couture being snapped up and worn in the four corners of the wealthy world.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Yannis Vlamos / InDigitalteam / GoRunway
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