After John Galliano's shock departure from his lengthy tenure at Christian Dior the fashion world has waited with baited breath for the announcement of his predecessor... the answer came just before the fall couture collections in the name of Raf Simons (soon after his time at Jil Sander came to an end back in February) and I for one was ecstatic to see the outcome. I have been counting down the days for his first RTW collection after the utter loveliness that was his first ever collection for Fall Couture. This collection didn't disappoint either, sadly it was wrapped up in a big, silly "two icons at war" thing becuase fellow designer Hedi Slimane shoed his first collection for YSL, oh sorry Saint Laurent Paris or whatever I am meant to call it, and all eyes were on both to see who did better, or whatever. I am not going to comment on that, but I am going to comment on how I thought Raf did a stellar job at the French powerhouse that is Dior. Under Galliano's reign Dior was eclectic, OTT and the symbolof maximalism and did nothing but show off the talents of the petit mains in Paris' famous ateliers.
However proceedings last month in Paris were an altogether different aesthetic, Raf stripped back the feel and aesthetic of what was to be offered, he nodded to the great Yves Saint Laurent with his edgy and sexy take on the Le Smoking which took on various forms of tuxedoes and sultry tuxedo dresses. Everything was simple, beautifully tailored and looked like it was worth every penny of it's no doubt extortionate price tag. The dresses varied in lengths, with thigh grazing minis and ankle ticklng maxi and midi lengths. There was gossamer light organza and flashes of bold colour and neon. The silhouettes were edgy and chic all at the same time, and I loved the simple cashmere knits teamed with the couture-esque New Look inspired circle skirts. It was like going back to the couture salons of the forties, but taking a cray cray acid trip halfway through.
I felt that Simons gave the house a much needed update, and the aesthetic of Dior an update, it has been brought into the present and is giving its clients options other than Galliano' show stopping occasion wear. Don't get me wrong, I thought John Galliano was irreplaceable, and his work is nothing short of that of a genius but it was fabulous to see the Dior girl rocking something totally different. I am excited to see what direction the brand will take under the hands of Raf. I adored his work at Jil Sander, but was shocked about his post at Dior, because as a designer his style was so far removed from that seen at Dior I was excited to see what he was going to do. There was minimalism, cocoon shapes or just out and out edgy and directional that he is famed for, and I think that proved he is more than up for the challenge and capable of doing wonderful things at the top of Dior. So, here is to next season and what that brings...
Long live King Raf!