In the past five years, the House of Dior has endured more than its share of ups and downs. In the two ellipses between star designers, Bill Gaytten and design duo Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux have fought uphill battles against expectations. At different points on the Dior timeline, these interim designers have felt the sting of criticism and the pressure to perform despite the upheaval. In the post-Simons era, Meier and Ruffieux have handled their time in the spotlight with graceful aplomb and, while Fall 2016 Couture may represent their last collection as interim designers for Dior, the two have ended it on a high note.
What was distinctly lacking from their last couture collection was the sense of occasion – there were no red-carpet gowns or dramatic final looks. This season, the designers dished up a feminine, monochrome collection packed with pleasing, delicately embellished looks that satisfied the demands of Dior’s elite, A-list clientele. However, according to their more youthful vision for the brand, they sent each exquisitely embroidered and tailored piece down the runway paired with flat, plain sandals.
For fans of Dior, this Fall 2016 Couture collection bore all the hallmarks of the brand’s DNA.
For fans of Dior, this Fall 2016 Couture collection bore all the hallmarks of the brand’s DNA: sloping sleeves, an elongated update on the curvy New Look silhouette, and clustered constellations of crystal embroidery that scattered enticingly across noir surfaces. Also visible was Meier and Ruffieux’s distinctive imprints: asymmetrical details, off-shoulder necklines, a relaxed fit through the waist, and a certain youthful joie de vivre.
The surprising starting point for all of this was a series of breezy, gypsy ensembles comprised of cascading waterfall tops and embroidered skirts, but the designers didn’t linger too long in casual terrain, and the show progressed quickly to include a variety of tailored and embroidered jackets, fluted chiffon skirts, and crystal-embellished gowns. Swap the sandals for heels and dozens of these looks are red-carpet ready – a move that places Dior back on firm footing when it comes to meeting client demand. For Meier and Ruffieux, this collection is a respectable place on which to rest their laurels.