To recognise something we know, something we can relate to - doesn’t that provide satisfaction to us all? Satisfaction of having caught the cultural reference, the capability of associating two and two: influences appearing through a designers work, in the smallest details and luxuries. This is the feeling Raf Simons has perfected at giving us, all in all whilst doing it in an unnoticeable, discreet and humble manner.
This season, Simons alluded to the eponymous Bar jacket, the signature Christian Dior houndstooth motif, here made three dimensional in matelassé fabric, along with criss-crossed laces - reminders of the infamous Dior corset. These are all elements that make up our visual knowledge of the world of art and fashion design, visuals that we encounter daily, be it in photography, in magazines, on people or in stores. They are elements on which we build our vocabulary of design, and conceive a mind map interlinking, perhaps unconsciously, the fascinating variety of creation available at our doorstep.
Tailored jackets, pea coats, and dresses in feminine hourglass silhouettes were interrupted by a more audacious, daunting and colourful palette. One moment an ‘elegante madame’ would be walking down the aisle, flaunting a strict yet sensuous black suit, only to be promptly followed by a voluminous, flamboyant and brilliantly constructed fuchsia dress.
From the general cut of his garments to the intricate details which make the appeal of each look, Simons knows how to make opposites attract. Dresses were gracefully bejewelled by handcrafted embroideries, slashed in half by a slit along the leg, rhythmically coming together with each model’s step. Two-toned dresses of complimentary shades overlapped each other, as if the under-slip was desperately trying to show its true colours, peeping out with audacious peps. Simons played freely on a variety of constructions and shapes, which all had in common their originality and boldness. He enhanced the womanly curve of the hip, and drew flared out lines dropping from the bust and waist, falling into exaggerated ruffles of lavish textiles. Star pieces included ample skirts and dress, which resonated in colour-blocked fullness and precision, brought to life with three-dimensional fabrics.
Simons has once more proven himself to be the right man to bring ‘la Maison Dior’ into a new era, where innovation and tradition go side by side to dress and adorn the contemporary woman, a celebration of timeless beauty and strength of character.
Photography: Courtesy of Christian Dior