Dior’s Fall 2016 Collection Bears All the Hallmarks of the House’s DNA

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In today’s world, what matters most to big fashion houses is the bottom line. And this Dior collection — with or without Simons, and for better or for worse — will deliver greatly on that.

Like the Lanvin show that preceded it the night before, yesterday’s Dior show was the talk of the fashion circuit this week. With no designer at the helm, and an emotional audience still wondering what a future without Raf Simons holds, we descended to the Cour Carrée du Louvre to a magnificent show venue with towering mirrored walls and a domed tunnel, cascading with receding circles, and the sound of the word ‘Time’ booming through the speakers pre-show. It was all very futuristic, yet totally reminiscent of the elaborate sets Dior has come to be known for in recent seasons.

Time. What was it about this word that resonated so heavily, and almost eerily, with the audience? Was it a message that it’s only a matter of time before someone is leading the house creatively once again?

In the interim period, studio heads Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux have been tasked with the (heavy) job of designing the “placeholder” collections, and today’s particular line-up would look no different to the eye of an average Dior client than a time when Simons was at the head of the house. To Meier and Ruffieux’s credit, it may not look very different to the average industry insider either.

 

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

The looks that came down the runway bore most, if not all, of the hallmarks of a Dior collection: Bar jackets, impeccable suiting, cocktail dresses, and strong coats. There was a brilliant emphasis on prints and asymmetry, with many looks featuring sashes of patterns down the sides, or a slouching neckline not dissimilar to the work we have previously seen from Simons.

Yet it was all somehow more youthful than what we’ve seen in recent times at Dior and, dare we say, even cooler.

Yet it was all somehow more youthful than what we’ve seen in recent times at Dior and, dare we say, even cooler. The models wore multiple clip-on earrings that almost had a punk-ish vibe to them, and their hair was spun into two small buns that were easy, unfussy, uncomplicated. Could this be the new Dior girl — uncomplicated?

Uncomplicated might be the key word here. Though Simons’ untimely and quite shocking departure from the house is still causing ripple effects across the industry, it could be the case that we’re simply too high-strung and emotional about his exit that we are failing to see this as the uncomplicated situation it is. In today’s world, what matters most to big fashion houses is the bottom line. And this collection — with or without Simons, and for better or for worse — will deliver greatly on that.

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