The garden has long held fascination for Raf Simons, who returns to the bloom each season for inspiration. For Fall 2015 Couture, he places an artful spin on his petaled muse, the flower, by transferring it to a breathtaking backdrop — a geometric sculpture dotted with pointillism that reflecta the influence of 15th and 16th century Flemish painters. By abstracting the flower, Simons advances new territory in couture for the House of Dior, splitting his focus between texture and detail. The silhouette and shape of this collection are hardly anything new for the brand, but it is their delicately appointed decorations that hold the most interest. However, as a master of house codes, Simons subtly updates the New Look with full skirts and flared sleeves.
The story begins at the dawn of time, as an ethereal creature glides down the runway in a pure-white, sheer gown, decorated sparingly at the wrists with feathers. But looks quickly leap to the present as models are sent down the runway enveloped in enormous velvet coats with single fur sleeves, voluminous crinoline dresses that are cinched at the waist, pretty prairie frocks, and sublime floor-sweeping, short-sleeved dresses that are appointed with tiny gilded flowers. Softly printed frocks are paired with similarly toned capes, while printed dresses cling all the way down the thigh before springing into voluminous flared skirts. As winter is tempered by spring, the collection is an exercise in precision balance: the bold with the subdued, the light with the dark, the fitted with the flared. A cheerful sleeveless ball gown could be paired with a marled shrug, or a delicate, sheer, mini dress could be elevated with cross-body, chain-link accoutrement, and both would look perfectly fitting for the season. Between lightweight angelic looks and heavily swaddled outerwear, Dior brings harmony to the season in the most beautiful way possible.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree