Unlike any other living designer, Raf Simons understands the latent power of the past – how a certain silhouette or color combination or embellishment can transport one to a bygone era. It’s a nostalgic way to design, but Simons isn’t recycling the past, he’s reinventing it. He knows how to travel through time while staying firmly in the present, and his extraordinary collections for Christian Dior have not only cemented the brand’s place in fashion history, but restored it to its proper level.
Inside the Musée Rodin amidst complex white scaffolding and plush pink carpeting, Simons steeped his Spring 2015 Couture collection in the 1960s, at a time in the brand’s history where the New Look of 1947 was well over a decade old and “mod” was finally being worked into the conversation. Simons’ versions are every inch the modern day marvel, but the language is still there – in clingy go-go boots, psychedelic graphics, flirty mini dresses, and multi-colored silk ribbons on a plissé ball gown. The soundtrack of David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream amplified the psychedelic rock feel.
Like Christian Dior himself, Simons celebrated the female figure, but he placed his own spin on the silhouette, choosing cut-away details on ball gowns, drop-waist skirts over form-fitting bodices, and bodysuits that left little to the imagination. Vinyl cover-ups with exquisite embellishing led the post-show buzz and have a clear place in the modern wardrobe, but that glittering striped bodysuit is going to take some convincing. The ball gowns, meanwhile, are certain to make best-dressed appearances on the red carpet courtesy of all the magnificent female friends of the house.
Christian Dior Spring 2015 Couture was a delightful exploration of how past fashion can inform the present in new, innovative ways, and was one of a few couture shows in recent memory that left the audience feeling reinvigorated with a newfound love for the fashion world.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree