Tuesday, 15 March 2016

DIOR Fall/Winter 2016/17 RTW

“After a woman, flowers are the most divine creations”, wrote Christian Dior. And so it was only natural that the couturier would employ flowers in all their forms as a way to highlight and heighten femininity. For the Spring/Summer 1949 collection, he designed a shirtdress whose name epitomized freshness: Ice-Cream. Its unique print in black and blue revisited the traditional cashmere motif by mixing it with stylized flowers. 

The highly graphic motif inspired several looks in the Dior ready-to-wear Autumn/Winter 2016/2017 show, which took place in the Cour Carrée of the Louvre Friday, 5th March, 2016. It could be found enlarged and transposed into pink and bordeaux on a silk jacquard coatdress. It also appeared on an orange and gray sweater, contrasting with the twinkling embroidered flowers on the skirt worn below. It also cropped up mixed with drawings of birds on a knit or the draped velvet of a dress, the start of a whole other story.

 Kendall Jenner in Look N° 29

With its defined waist, sensual lines and a graphic neckline framed in fur, the coat-dress worn by model Kendall Jenner in the Dior ready-to-wear Autumn/Winter 2016/2017 show was a modern revisiting of the Bar jacket, that House icon designed by Christian Dior in 1947.

There was a mirrored set reflecting infinity at the Christian Dior show, and a voice intoning “Time, time, time” on the soundtrack. What did it signify the past on the left, the endless permanence of the brand’s future on the right? Or, more pertinently, that the collection passing through is but another soon-to-be-forgotten fleeting moment in Dior’s history? As everyone knows, the task of keeping Dior warm between the exit of Raf Simons and the hiring of a new creative director has been undertaken by the brand’s studio team.

Within those parameters, studio heads Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux did quite a decent placeholder job, which skewed rather refreshingly younger and less uptight than before. There was a lot of black suiting, with slit, high-waisted pencil skirts and softer jackets worn as a young girl might, with pointy silver and black low Mary Janes. With their hair tightly coiled into buns and ears studded with safety pins and other jingle-jangles, the models walked easily and briskly, many in coats with deep flounces in the hem. There were also cocktail dresses with swathed necklines, scattered with random, vintage-y settings of colored gems.

Truth be told, after that, a meandering feeling took over the coats kept coming back, the suits and dresses kept reappearing, and there was never much sense of a finale. Still, it wouldn’t be fair to dismiss this joint effort without mentioning one surprise the Dior knits. Somebody on the DIOR team had come up with some interesting, fashion-forward shapes one with a strong black flounce running into a V and a high neckline, another in shocking orange with leg-of-mutton sleeves, and a couple of others with paisley patterns. Next season will probably be another story, once a new creative director is found, but those who’ve been holding the fort since Raf Simons quit have not disgraced the house.

The coats, in which the House ateliers possess an historic expertise, revisit the line of the iconic Bar suit. The petites mains had to rethink its architecture, such as the cut of the peplums, in order to make them asymmetric or exaggerated, but also the defined waist, emphasised by large buttoned martingales. The work on the collar alone corresponds to an entire chapter of the collection’s story: rolled like a silk scarf, pleated, plunging, folded back over the shoulders… It has been reinvented so that each garment can express a different identity of the Dior woman.

All the skills of the petites mains came to the fore in the motifs that embellished a chunk of the collection quilting, hand-painted devoré velours, recolored jacquards, trembling beaded floral bells, rectangular sequins dancing under the lights as the model moved. Materials, techniques and savoir-faire combine and accumulate to create an harmonious silhouette with all the most exquisitely essential details.

For the ready-to-wear Autumn/Winter 2016/2017 collection the Dior woman is piling on, mixing and layering her jewelry to compose articulated mobiles in sync with her style. There are gilt metal multi-clip earrings, bordeaux and gray rhinestone hoops, buttons in silver and gold. There are also rings that wrap around the finger like a delicate ribbon dabbed with little barrettes and colored plexiglas, glass and rhinestones. The whole comes alive as the wearer moves. This spontaneous and creative mixing of forms, colors and materials is also to be found in the choice of bags.

A new House icon was to be discovered fully embroidered or cut in exotic leathers such as yellow lizard, teamed with a long-strap glasses case in smooth bordeaux leather or violet lizard. Another bag resembles a giant wallet with compartments. To finish off the look, the cut-out ankle boots also exhibited a subtle play of color and material, whether that be black heels with black crocodile and black laced lizard front, or brown heels with a band of black lizard and dark blue lizard lacing. For that all-important final touch, the new DiorUmbrage glasses with lenses lightly tinted an orange, green or blue leaf print peppered the looks in the show.

Enjoy the DIOR Fall/Winter 2016/17 RTW runway show 'Best OF' by DIOR at the end of this post! LoL, Andrea 


Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: The House of DIOR

Stills by Kevin Tachman
Backstage by Alessandro Garofalo/Indigital.tv
Runway by Yannis Vlamos/Indigital.tv

This spring, Peter Philips, Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup, reinterprets the art of a gorgeous glow with a luminous makeup collection that teams new Backstage Pros essentials with eyeshadows and lipsticks in colours inspired by the flower gardens of Granville.

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