The excitement preceding a Dior show is almost palpable. On the cobbled walkways lining the streets surrounding the Musée Rodin, where the show frequently takes place, street style photographers run in hordes and hordes – not unlike a group of racing horses – when they catch sight of a photo-worthy attendee. For days like today are notable not just for the collection that is about to be unraveled to the world, but also for the frenzy surrounding the selective group of people about to witness it.
Amongst them today are a scantily-clad Rihanna, who wears a fire-engine red fur coat from the Fall 2013 Couture collection over her sexy getup; Jessica Alba, who is razor-sharp in a tailored pant suit and a coat thrown effortlessly over her shoulders; Olivia Palermo, who is as polished and pretty as ever in a little shirtdress, and Emma Roberts, who wears a cool leather jacket with a single Mise en Dior earring in her right earlobe. Also among the attendees are Eva Herzigova, whose midi dress and oversized coat fortify her reputation as a 90s bombshell, and a supremely powerful-looking Valérie Trierweiler, the scorned ex-girlfriend of President François Hollande, who makes her first public appearance since his scandalous affair. Not to mention the hundreds of fashionable editors, buyers, and clients, each wearing some icon of the Dior brand – be it a bag, shoe, or that must-have singular Mise en Dior earring – trying to push their way inside the security-laden area, littered with chic French policemen verifying invites.
Each and every one of the women in attendance, whether she’s powerful, cool, classic, polished, or even Bad Girl Riri, is a diehard fan of the house and wholly representative of the new Dior woman, much to the credit of Raf Simons, whose work at the Maison thus far has propelled it on to a new and universal stage not experienced by the likes of any other house in recent memory. And if this is the effect his work has had to date, imagine the results when he presents his strongest, most phenomenal collection yet.
This presentation of looks represents not only Raf Simons’ best work at Dior, but the best work of his formidable career. Consider this the historic moment that launched the New New Look, albeit in a way only Simons can stay both true to the codes of the house as well as universally appealing to the powerful woman, the polished woman, the classic woman, and the cool or bad girl. Among his most beautiful offerings for Fall 2014 (although it must be noted that everything in this collection is a beautiful offering) are graceful bejeweled cocktail dresses, cut and styled with such precision that you would think the fashion Gods themselves had a hand in their creation. Equally as electrifying – yet surprising given Simons’ tenure at the house – are lace-up dresses and shoes tinged with an athletic aesthetic. The shoes, a sneaker-pump hybrid, marry the cool sneakers he just showed at the couture collection in July, along with the pointy-toed pump that has become a Dior must-have.
The collection’s universal appeal is a strong sign of things to come at Dior, as Simons continues to impress season after season with his designs. Could this be the beginning of the world’s first all-embracing luxury fashion house? Once the commercial collection lands, we’ll have our answer as the powerful woman, the polished woman, the classic woman, and the cool or bad girl line up with baited breath outside the stores.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway